On Wednesday morning, the Arab press touched upon to the Turkish moves in the Middle East, and international reactions to these moves.
Al-Arab: Turkey wants to extract the role of "protecting Lebanon's Sunnis" from Saudi Arabia
This morning, the Arab newspapers covered several topics, the most prominent of which was the Turkish intervention in Lebanon, and in this context Al-Arab newspaper said: “Observers said that a tangible Saudi political absence was recorded in Lebanon after the Beirut explosion, at a time when Turkey rushed to present itself as a political and economic actor. In the country, and that Ankara is benefiting from the decline in Saudi interest and Iran's fear that it will appear strongly in a scene that clearly attracts Western attention.
They indicated that Turkey's haste to send Turkish Vice President Fuad Oktay to Beirut as a delegation from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglo and a number of Turkish officials, confirming the Turkish interest in making Ankara a major player in the Lebanese scene.
Riyadh does not hide its dissatisfaction with the political developments taking place in Lebanon, even before the Beirut explosion, and it stopped providing any economic support to the country, as well as reducing its diplomatic mission in Beirut.
Riyadh believes, according to its senior officials, that the Lebanese state has become completely subject to the sway of Hezbollah, which prevents its political and investment presence in Lebanon.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan did not hide his country's concern about Hezbollah's hegemony in Lebanon.
The Saudi writer Khaled al-Suleiman attributed his country's stances towards Lebanon to the fact that it cannot "watering of thorns."
Al-Suleiman said: “This time, Saudi Arabia had a different position, an open and transparent position for the internal Lebanon and for the international community. Saudi Arabia will not continue to pay Hezbollah’s bills, and the Lebanese should shoulder their responsibilities towards their country, and the international community must assume its responsibilities towards Hezbollah’s mischief internally and regionally.”
However, the threat of Saudi divergence due to Riyadh's opposition to Hezbollah leaves room for the expansion of the Turkish role as Ankara presents itself as the "protector of the Sunnis."
"Saudi humanitarian aid came generously, and politics was absent," said a Lebanese observer close to Riyadh.
Political sources who follow the Turkish move in Lebanon consider that Ankara's bet at the present time is to fill the Arab void in the country in light of the deep crisis afflicting Hezbollah, which is nothing but an arm of Iran.
These sources confirmed that Turkey has a moral presence in Lebanon, but it does not realize that this presence does not mean that the Sunnis are loyal to it.
The Beirut explosion was preceded by a political debate between two Sunni political figures over who is loyal to Saudi Arabia and who is loyal to Turkey in Lebanon.
The "Asas Media" website, which is supervised by the former Minister of the Interior close to Saudi Arabia, Nihad Al-Machnouk, accused the former Lebanese security director and Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi of coordinating with Turkish intelligence to control northern Lebanon.
Sunni politicians consider that Turkey is seeking to penetrate widely in Lebanon and "represent the sect" through the project of sponsoring Islamic associations and paying attention to the restoration of old buildings with a special focus on those reminiscent of the Ottoman era.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Turkey is fighting on 3 fronts
In its turn, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper said: “Turkey entered into confrontations on 3 fronts simultaneously, and its simultaneous escalation resulted in crystallizing Arab and European positions to counter its approach.
In the eastern "Mediterranean"; Ankara announced yesterday that it will continue exploration activities of all kinds in the west of its "continental shelf", and that it will launch new exploration activities at the end of this month.
Greece called the Council on Foreign Relations of the European Union to an emergency meeting to discuss "Turkish activities in the eastern Mediterranean." The European Union expressed its concern about the developments in the situation in the Mediterranean, confirming its support for Cyprus and Greece.
In its turn; Cyprus and France put into effect a two-year defense cooperation agreement, starting on August 1.
In parallel; Two Iraqi officers and their driver were killed yesterday, according to what was announced by the Iraqi army, which condemned "a Turkish attack that traveled through a drone."
And on a third front; The Gulf Cooperation Council expressed its condemnation of the threats made by the Turkish Minister of Defense and a number of other officials against the United Arab Emirates, and PH.D. Nayef al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, during his meeting yesterday, the Turkish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, confirmed his denunciation of the threats and statements of some officials in Turkey, stressing that the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council states is an indivisible whole.
Al-Bayan: Ankara has 3 options ... and the Egyptian-Greek agreement curbed its ambitions
Al-Bayan newspaper also touched upon the tension between Egypt and Turkey in the Mediterranean, and in this context it said: "The Egyptian-Greek declaration of the maritime boundary demarcation agreement constituted a new fatal blow to Turkey's ambitions in that floating region on a lake of gas."
During the past few days, several reactions have been issued from the Turkish side, which showed the state of confusion in that file, which constitutes a major crisis for the besieged Turks, their ambitions in the Mediterranean; In the beginning, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his country's rejection of that agreement, and then sent a vibratory survey ship to resume exploration.
At the same time, Turkey announced, on Monday, its call for a meeting between the countries of the eastern Mediterranean in order to reach a solution that satisfies all parties, which can be described as a strategic retreat of Turkish policy.
The current scene puts Turkey in front of three main options, identified by the researcher and expert in Turkish affairs, Karam Saeed, in an interview with the "Al-Bayan"; The first option is the choice of clash and the militarization of the crisis, which is the first thing that Turkey hinted at through its reaction on the eve of the Egyptian-Greek agreement when it called it null and at the same time announced the resumption of excavation operations.
The second option is related to resorting to "calm" and opening dialogue channels with Greece, due to pressure exerted on Turkey by the European Union, which hinted at imposing more sanctions on Ankara in light of the continued illegal exploration.
While the third option is related to the process of Turkey's attempt to reformulate its external alliances, which is evident through its attempts to win over Mediterranean countries facing crises and employ the recent bombings.
The recent Turkish messages and its attempts to heal the rift with Greece first, then its invitation to a meeting of the Mediterranean countries, clearly show the efficacy of European pressures in curbing Ankara's ambition in the Mediterranean and putting an end to the recent harassment of the countries bordering it.