MİDDLE EAST

Saudi, UAE tighten noose around Iraq

‘We are entering a period when the impact of the Gulf in ‘Divided Iraq’ and ‘Split Syria’ is going to deepen,’ says specialist

News Service Yeni Şafak

While Iraqi President Barham Salih recently headed to Riyadh for his first official trip, other Iraqi cabinet ministers visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As a result, dialogue between Iraq and the two Gulf countries has reached a pinnacle. Prof. Dr. Mahir Nakip of Turkey’s Çankaya University evaluated these ties in an exclusive interview with Yeni Şafak daily.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is paying special attention to Iraq and Syria as part of a regional project, Nakip said, adding: “The main aim is to support the project that plots to strike Turkey from Syria’s north.”

Impact to deepen

“Iraqi President Barham Salih still has not visited Turkey, which was the first country to congratulate him [on his appointment] and expends a great deal of effort regarding Iraq’s independence. However, he visited Saudi Arabia recently and delivered some interesting messages. Following this, Finance Minister Fuad Hussein visited the UAE. Then Masoud Barzani visited the UAE,” Nakip said.

“These visits hold great importance in terms of deciphering the codes of the era. The period will have negative repercussions in Iraq. The political structure and Iraqi parliament will be affected. The inactive terror cells across the country may be revitalized by the developments. There is the risk of a new conflict line being formed,” he added.

“Another aspect of the attention paid to Iraq is the strategy to form easier access to the U.S.-supported terror corridor in Syria’s north. We are entering a period when the impact of the Gulf in ‘Divided Iraq’ and ‘Split Syria’ is going to deepen.”

In August, Riyadh pledged $100 million to northeastern Syria, which is occupied by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to “rebuild and stabilize” the area.

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