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Panorama of Week: New Russian move towards Israeli raids on Syria, Erdogan deepens crises with West

Panorama of Week: New Russian move towards Israeli raids on Syria, Erdogan deepens crises with West

Russia has begun to follow a new policy on Israeli raids on Syria, while Erdogan is deepening his crises with the West and this time from the Cyprus gate through his quest to impose Turkish Cypriot control on part of the Varosha city.

The last week’s Arab newspapers discussed the Syrian issue, as well as Erdogan’s quest to impose Turkish Cypriot control on part of the city of Varosha, along with the political crisis in Lebanon.

Russia hints at closing “Syrian airspace” before Israel 

Starting with the Syrian issue, and in this context, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper said, “Russian sources have hinted at the possibility of “closing Syrian airspace” to Israeli planes, which have intensified their raids in the past two days against Iranian and Hezbollah sites in northern and central Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry, which had not previously commented on the Israeli raids, issued two separate statements during the past days, following two Israeli raids, one targeting a research center in the countryside of Aleppo, and the other a site for Iranian forces in Al-Qusayr, near Homs.  

A well-informed Russian source told Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday that “this is directly related to the talks that were launched with the United States following the first summit that brought together Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden last month,” and that “Moscow was calculating its reactions in the past; Because Tel Aviv is coordinating all its moves with Washington, while the Russian communication channels with Washington were cut off, and it appeared from the current contacts with the American side that Moscow obtained confirmation that Washington does not welcome the continuous Israeli raids.   

The source added that “the Israelis felt that the air defenses in Syria had been activated, and the fact that practically all the launched missiles had been destroyed, indicates a fundamental change in the mechanisms for dealing with this file, and that Israel’s aviation has not since entered the Syrian airspace, and is carrying out attacks from the ground.” And Moscow completed this reinforcement by providing Damascus with modern air defense equipment, in addition to being directly supervised by Russian experts.”

The escalation of the crisis between the West and Turkey over the Cyprus file

As for the Emirati newspaper, Al-Ittihad, it touched on the Turkish endeavor to impose a fait accompli policy in Cyprus, and said, “The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, said yesterday that his country had made an appeal to the UN Security Council regarding the transfer of the right of control over part of the deserted coastal city of Varosha on the divided island to the Turkish Cypriots.                                                   

“This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and will have a negative impact on ongoing efforts to resume negotiations,” Christodoulides said after meeting his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias.

“The declaration of the Turkish side aims to create a new fait accompli to eliminate forever the possibility of Cyprus reunification,” Dendias said.

Varosha has turned into a ghost town after its original Greek Cypriot residents abandoned it nearly half a century ago, and Turkish Cypriots now, with the support of Ankara, want to reopen it under their own administration.

In turn, the United States announced yesterday its condemnation of the project announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reopen the city of Varosha.

“The United States considers the actions of the Turkish Cypriots in Varosha, with the support of Turkey, to be provocative, unacceptable, and inconsistent with their commitments in the past to engage constructively in peace talks,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement.

The US Secretary reiterated the US position in support of a comprehensive settlement led by the Cypriots to reunite the island within the framework of a bi-regional and inter-communal union for the benefit of all Cypriots and the region.

It is noteworthy that only Turkey recognizes the declaration of independence of the Turkish Cypriots and maintains more than 350 thousand soldiers there.

Yesterday, France accused the Turkish president of provocation, and the Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “France deeply regrets this unilateral step, which was not coordinated and represents a provocation,” adding, “It undermines the restoration of confidence necessary for the urgent resumption of negotiations for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.”

In turn, Egypt expressed in a statement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs its deep concern about what was announced regarding changing the status of the Varosha region by working to partially open it, in contravention of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Egypt affirmed its demand to adhere to Security Council resolutions in this regard, and to avoid any unilateral actions that might complicate the situation and increase the level of tension, with the need to fully adhere to the path of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.

The Lebanese scene is becoming more blurred

On the Lebanese issue, Al-Bayan newspaper said, “Lebanon entered the Eid al-Adha holiday, with what it means to wait for binding parliamentary consultations to name the president-designate to form the new government. Names began to be poured into the government stadium, while the name of Prime Minister Saad Hariri is still an option and a proposition, despite the apology.

The leader of the Lebanese Future Movement, Saad Hariri, said that it would have been possible to put an end to the “terrible collapse” in Lebanon, “had it not been for the intransigence and selfishness of some.”

In a tweet on his account on Twitter, Saad Hariri said: “The blessed Eid al-Adha is upon us, and our beloved Lebanon with its good people is ravaged by these crises, and we could have put an end to this terrible collapse, had it not been for the intransigence and selfishness of some.”

With the shift in priorities on the governmental side, from the priority of authorship to the priority of assignment, attention is focused on the expected invitation of the President of the Republic to binding parliamentary consultations, in order to assign a new prime minister after Hariri’s apology, while the scene turns to more darkness, as there are no elements Until now, the agreement between the opposing forces, and the conflict of views between the political forces is wide open.

This is because the past six days until today, since Hariri’s apology last Thursday, have cast more intense shadows over the internal political scene, with regard to the extremely complex trends that will confront the Covenant in particular, and the political forces in general, regarding crystallizing the name of a Sunni personality that does not erupt a conflict. Of a sectarian nature this time, and amid crowding of scenarios, and lack of time and options, the harshest option, whose indicators have begun to multiply, is represented in an internally open blockage phase.




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