Turkey says it is prepared for possibility of war with Israel
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said Monday in Cairo that he is prepared for the worst case scenario with Israel, while Israel scrambles to cover its flanks in a multifront diplomatic crisis.
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Other Arab countries, both those friendly and hostile to Israel, heaped blame on Israel for its isolation from two of its former regional allies. King Abdullah of Jordan, whose country joins Egypt as the only two Arab-majority states that have peace agreements with Israel, said Monday that "Israel's situation is more difficult than ever before," according to Ynet. The Saudi newspaper Almedina wrote that Israel is "more isolated than ever."
An Israeli official downplayed King Abdullah's remarks, framing them as merely his way of smoothing over "internal sensitivities within the kingdom…. The king has strong ties with the US, and has strong interests with Israel," he said. "We should keep that front calm, and follow the developments."
However, Reuters notes that Israel's situation might not be as dire as it appears, at least when it comes to Egypt. Despite public sentiment, the new government cannot afford to lose the billions of dollars in US military aid that it receives as part of its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which it affirmed to Washington after the embassy attack in Cairo.
Adel Soliman, head of Cairo's International Centre for Future and Strategic Studies, also told Reuters that concerns about a Turkish-Egyptian alliance against Israel were overblown and that Erdogan is merely trying to fill Egypt's void as a regional leader.
"Egypt is not in a position to play such a role at the moment so Erdogan is trying to take advantage of that," Mr. Soliman said. "I don't think they will have any big agreements when it comes to Israel. There is a lot of exaggeration. I see it more as theatrics than anything practical."