Istanbul: yet another success of “Caliphal diplomacy”

With the extremist Johnson and Draghi ousted, the first Russia-Ukraine agreement immediately arrived with Erdoğan’s mediation and under the UN aegis. Von der Leyen’s suicide strategy, the inefficient diplomacy of European countries and the populism of high-profile geopolitical analysts are in check.

by Glauco D’Agostino

Grand Imperial Mosque in the Ortaköy neighbourhood of the Beşiktaş District

The setting is symbolic: the Dolmabahçe Sarayı, in the Beşiktaş District of Istanbul. It was the seat of the Caliphate since 1856. The host has been Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the mediator par excellence, who puts Russian and Ukrainian institutional and diplomatic representatives at the same table for an agreement on wheat in the presence of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Following the Istanbul talks of last July 13th, the deal provides for a Black Sea corridor as early as the next few days from the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Čornomors’k and Yuzhne to export grain and agricultural products to the world markets. According to the British newspaper Daily Mail, many have seen the deal as the first turning point of the conflict.

President Erdoğan said: “War will end at the negotiating table. This is a turning point.” He also added: “We are proud to be helpful in implementing an initiative intended to play a crucial role in solving the global food crisis … Today’s agreements will help us contribute to the threat of hunger for billions of people worldwide.”

Words of peace. Not just words but facts. The last warmongers of Europe are dazed: Ursula von der Leyen, perfectly useless in her role as a bureaucrat, and even the arrogant Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General (more or less a spokesman), who fails to assess the weight of the mightiest NATO’s member in Europe. Both proved wrong by the facts after the “hawks” Johnson and Draghi, proponents of the war to the bitter end, left the scene. None of them has kept pace with US diplomacy towards Russia and China, now very different after the aggressive tones used at the beginning of the crisis by the unwary Kamala Devi Harris and Lloyd James Austin III, sent forward as they do with the idiots on duty. They, too, have been miserably denied concerning the explicit requests for regime change in Moscow. Now the powerful rulers of Europe are shaking after the regime changes in London and Rome. Several of them risk their seats, and the oligarchs who thrive in the shadow of national and international affairs are even more concerned.

The position of many geopolitical analysts is even more scandalous when trying their hand at the subject. Their analyses are embarrassing for their servility towards their respective ruling powers. Among them, high-ranking diplomats, generals, academics, journalists, talk-show hosts, influencers, strippers and panderers all united in sharing impressions on how to punish those responsible for the war. Oh, I forgot former inquisitors of international courts. All united in calling for higher investments in military spending and harsher sanctions. All disappeared in the face of the rough consequences of those salvific sanctions but for Moscow. Is there an international court to sanction them? Who knows if the kind Mrs Carla Del Ponte knows since she is not sure imputable before this court despite her contemptuous unsolicited statements.

International balances are changing rapidly with the speed of the 21st century. And it is amusing to observe the bewilderment of the serving waiters passing from one master to another while not understanding who is the most powerful. For example, in Italy, a character invoked as a Man of Destiny badly falls since he has not understood the dominant role of the Caliph in the Mediterranean. No one had warned him of the new equilibrium in NATO, neither his long-time-politician foreign minister nor the other highly skilled ministers (the Best) nor the multi-titled Ambassadors of rank and so on. Thus, three days after his visit to Ankara, even the banker with a high worldwide reputation receives the blame for geo-political inadequacy. Some speculate that he has not received enough support from Zelenskij when prompted to send his delegation to Istanbul. Therefore he has paid the consequences. On the other hand, high institutions and the entire Italian Parliament, with individual exceptions in a personal capacity, hung on the lips of the Ukrainian oligarch, as is well known. Historical nemesis!

Yusuf Agâh Efendi, the first permanent Ottoman Ambassador to London from 1793 to 1797

As for us, we claim consistency. We had warned that an honourable peace would be a better solution than a devastating war, we had immediately identified the most credible mediator to settle regional disputes that risked overflowing into broader conflicts, and we had recalled the Kremlin’s dissatisfaction with the barking of NATO on its borders (Pope’s words), we had indicated the virtues of peace-making compromises such as that of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Sahel. A line of thinking quite alternative to the short-sightedness of the extremist and populist positions of the government wheeler-dealers, evidently interested in surreptitiously arming dangerous terrorist groups such as the Azov Battalion.

We can testify to the acquiescence stance held by the West about Russian foreign policy. On October 28th, 2015, at a meeting with H.E. Sergej Razov, Ambassador of Russia to Italy, organised in collaboration between the Russian Embassy and the Pontifical Lateran University, I asked the diplomat whether the Federation was concerned by international reactions to the situation in Ukraine after the Crimea annexation and the riots in Donbass, and in Georgia concerning Abkhazija and South Ossetia independence. The overt response of the Ambassador was that no worrying reaction appeared on an international level because of the presented situation, which testified the international community had accepted the state of affairs. Diplomatic answer? Of course, as usual. But undoubtedly very close to the reality framed among the consequences of the announcement of “an option to a pre-emptive nuclear strike” by NATO (https://www.islamicworld.it/wp/ukraine-if-zelenskij-realises-he-is-western-instrument-and-asks-to-speak-directly-to-the-tsar/) and of the aggressive 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest, which welcomed “Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. Especially Turkey’s new geopolitical role after the 2016 coup attempt. Erdoğan understood how the ambiguous role of the Western-allied countries in that attempted coup suggested an autonomous role within NATO that would allow an opening towards Moscow as an opponent open to compromise. So in the Caucasus, so in Syria, so in the Sahel. And today in Ukraine.

Everything in Europe happens within the NATO framework, of course. It is only an option each state must be able to afford under its strength and diplomatic capacity. Others have a great deal to learn. Be there as protagonists or as waiters? It explains the die-off of waiters!

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