Source: Dubai – Arabic.net
Withholding the privileges of Article Five
But with the Dutch parliament voting to suspend Turkey’s Article 5 concessions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the escalating conflict in Libya, which put Ankara on a collision course with Moscow, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may find himself in a critical situation.
Article 5 of the treaty states that in the event of an armed attack against one of the member states there should be common security, and the other members should assist the abused members of the armed forces if necessary.
Automatic rejection of Turkey
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently emphasized that “Turkey is one of the most powerful members of NATO. I do not think NATO will go ahead without Turkey in terms of geography or strategy.”
However, this opinion did not prevent both the Christian Union and the Socialist Party, and its partners in the ruling coalition, from voting against the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy in favor of two proposals, one of which calls for additional support for the SDF in Rojava, northern Syria, while the other calls for automatic refusal of any Turkish brandishing to demand the use of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, as long as they conduct operations against the SDF.
Exports from Norway and the Netherlands
In response to Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, two NATO members, Norway and the Netherlands, suspended arms exports to Ankara. These are just two examples of the increasing distances between Turkey and the rest of NATO.
The Outcast Circus
Instead of working in full swing with NATO, Turkey has chosen to maximize its maneuverability by launching a number of limited persuasive partnerships, which include a group of countries such as Russia, Qatar, Iran, and Venezuela. It is developing its sphere of influence by using the Muslim Brotherhood and armed militias from Syria to Libya as political and military agents. These groups have no interest in seeing stability and prosperity return to these war-torn countries that cause chaos and destruction to flourish.
A catastrophic fate in Libya
Although formulating the path of fulfilling the covenants with the allies, dealing with other countries on a commercial basis and transactions may appear attractive, this Turkish move regarding Libya may end in disaster for Turkey in Libya.
After the Muslim Brotherhood proves to be an important faction within the faltering National Accord government in Libya, Turkey has a strong ideological incentive to support them.
However, Turkey also witnessed an opportunity to achieve economic gains in Libya and signed an agreement with the Government of National Accord that expanded Turkey’s exclusive marine economic zone to Libya, a controversial move, especially with NATO.
In order to support the Al-Wefaq government forces against the Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Haftar, Turkey earlier this month announced plans to deploy forces, including Syrian fighters and Turkish soldiers, to support Tripoli.
Last week, the Libyan National Army took control of Sirte, the city of vital strategic importance, which represents a strong threat to the Misrata wing, the last bastion of defense of Tripoli, the besieged capital and the headquarters of the National Accord Government.
Share the spoils
President Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin met last week to discuss the situation in Libya. Whether it will end up with a gentleman’s agreement to divide the spoils or tell Turkey of any unconfirmed terms that their project is doomed to remain under consideration.
For the time being, the two sides have brokered a fragile ceasefire between the Libyan National Army and the Al-Wefaq government forces, but only time will determine the stability of that agreement.
In the long term, in any case, the course of events will clearly show Turkey the degree of convenience in the transactions within the framework of its partnership with Russia, or the speed of cooperation between them as soon as their interests diverge.
Consequently, Ankara will be pushed in search of allies, as NATO has become increasingly unreliable, in addition to its relations with Iran that have been strained due to the invasion of northern Syria, and to their interests being opposed to Russia in Libya.