Thursday, June 3, 2010

Brazil, Turkey Emerge New Diplomatic Powers

By persuading Iran to ship 1,200 kilograms of low enriched uranium out of the country and receive in return high enriched uranium for use in a reactor in Iran, Turkey and Brazil made a meaningful diplomatic achievement by outwitting the efforts of Western powers which are more akin to intimidation and have an undertone of a war threat.

Nuclear Issue
Reaching a solution through negotiation to overcome the deadlock of the issue of Iran's nuclear program is for the interest of regional and global security.

We should praise Brazil and Turkey, two non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for their diplomatic wisdom that they managed to convince Iran to negotiate on the nuclear issue and agree to move away the uranium.

Unfortunately this issue has not won respect or compliment from the Western media, which consider it as too late since the US and Israel have had their strategy in place to attack Iran in the process of imposing more stringent sanctions on Iran.

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will step down this year after holding the post for two terms has successfully led his country towards the status of a big power via this proactive diplomatic approach.

In fact, prior to this, when there was a serious tension between Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia in 2008, Lula intervened as a neutral mediator crossing the boundaries of political ideology in Latin American countries.

Palestine-Israel Issue
In the endeavor to win a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Lula is also aware that his country should be seen as playing the role of problem solver rather than a symbolic role to show its strengths in terms of economic growth and military power.

He has also made the effort to help resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine through high-profile diplomatic mission in March this year as a neutral party.

In addition, Lula already gained a status on a par with Middle East Quartet and he proposed a friendly soccer match between the Brazilian national team and the Palestinian-Israeli mixed team. The Quartet is formed by the United States, Russia, the European Union (EU) and UN and involved in mediating the peace process between Palestine and Israel.

Although Turkey is not a developing country growing like Brazil, it is also emerging as a respectful power in Middle East.

Ankara also became the mediator in the negotiation process of Israel-Syria conflict to resolve the old settlements issue between the two countries. Turkey also played a role in easing the tension between Hamas and Fatah. Turkey is in a better position than Egypt to play a diplomatic role in resolving the Palestine-Israel issue.

It seems Brazil and Turkey are portraying themselves as the new actors in international relations particularly in diplomatic efforts.

Resolving Deadlock
Amazingly, within a short period, Brazil and Turkey have successfully resolved the deadlock, which the West, UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been working on for a long time. More surprisingly, Iran which had been recalcitrant and insistent to enrich the uranium within the country had changed its position because of the persuasion of Brazil and Turkey.

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