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Monday, March 28, 2011

Turkey Steps Up to Mediate in Libya Crisis - "but Erdogan's motives look suspicious? "

Senior Turkish diplomat Selim Yenel said a political solution is crucial for Libya. "Turkey is now talking to both sides, and we believe one of the few countries that can to talk to both sides. In the end it's the only way out, otherwise more and more military actions will push people into a corner and you have to show a way out. And we believe a diplomatic solution is a way out. "

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had good relations with the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and until recently had strongly opposed military intervention and, in particular, NATO's involvement. But, Erdogan has since changed his stance now supporting NATO and calling for Gadhafi to stand down.

Though such inconsistencies may cast suspicions on Turkey's objectivity, diplomatic correspondent Semih Idiz said Turkey is in a unique position to mediate.

Even though Mr. Erdogan has changed his mind on the issue a few times, one can only hope he accepts the fact that Gaddafi must go. It must also be clear to him that if France had not acted immediately, pro-Gaddafi forces would have taken Benghazi and Gaddafi would have prevailed.The fact that Mr. Erdogan was critical about this French initiative which saved the day makes the mediation efforts of Mr. Erdogan look somewhat suspicious.

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