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    US Vice President Joe Biden (L) pose with Turkish President Rcep Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace on November 22, 2014 in Istanbul

    Erdogan's Make or Break Visit to Washington Decides 'Fate of Middle East'

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    The Turkish President's visit to Washington this week will have a historic impact on his political future, security analyst Haldun Solmazturk told Sputnik.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the US takes place at a historically crucial moment for his political future and that of the Middle East, security analyst Haldun Solmazturk told Sputnik.

    Erdogan arrived in Washington on Wednesdayy ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit on Thursday and Friday. He is due to have a formal meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, but he was not granted a one on one meeting with the US President.

    Some US newspapers have interpreted that as a snub for Erdogan, given that Turkey is a key member of NATO and plays a central role in a range of currently pressing problems in the Middle East.

    Haldun Solmazturk, a former general in the Turkish Armed Forces and analyst at the UK's Royal Institute of International Affairs think tank, told Sputnik Turkey that Erdogan's visit to the US comes at a critical time for the Middle East, almost 100 years after the empires of the region collapsed and its borders were redrawn.

    "Today 100 years later we again see that the borders of countries in the region are being redrawn. This is a very serious process, in which the US and some of its allies are playing a big role. The fate of the Middle East depends on the outcome of these processes," Solmazturk said.

    "So that the same mistakes that were made after the end of the First World War are not repeated, influential players have to be as careful as possible. From that point of view Erdogan's visit is very important."

    Erdogan is confronted with very serious political opponents in Turkey, the analyst said, and the visit to the US is a way of trying to shore up support amid rising domestic discontent by giving the impression that he has secured the support of the West for his politics, particularly that of the US.

    "It is not certain that he has been able to do that."

    "Even if we put to one side the growing disagreement between the US and Turkey over Iraq, Syria and other problems of the region, Erdogan's aggressive rhetoric to Western countries and their diplomats, and also to non-Muslim communities raises concern in the West. I think that during Erdogan's visit to the US this issue will receive a lot of attention."

    Solmazturk said that Western countries are seeking an end to the Syrian crisis, in which Erdogan's personal ambitions have led him to turn Syrian President Bashar Assad into a personal enemy, and conflict not just with Russia and Iran, but the US and other countries of the region.

    "I think the international community wants to put an end to this, and it will be discussed during Erdogan's visit to Washington."

    "Whichever way you look at it, there is only discontent and anxiousness," Solmazturk said.

    "Taking all these circumstances into account, in my opinion this visit is one of the most important of the last half century, since to some extent it plays a decisive role not only in terms of Erdogan's political success, but the fate of the region."


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    Middle East, visit, conflict, United States, Turkey
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