Key Points

While Ankara boasts of its commitment to defeating the Islamic State, Turkey continues to be a major jurisdiction for illicit finance – evident also in its facilitation of Iranian and Venezuelan sanctions evasion schemes. The U.S. should urge Ankara to adopt a zero tolerance policy toward terror finance, and to end its permissive policies and lenient treatment of jihadist networks within Turkey. Rather than jailing dissident academics, journalists, and opposition politicians, Ankara should instead focus its law enforcement resources on the jihadist networks and financiers who threaten Turkey’s national security.

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Although the current political climate in the United States makes additional financial support to Europe challenging, it is not altogether impossible. U.S. President Donald Trump has signaled that exporting gas to Europe is a priority, and the administration should work with European partners to operationalize that goal and thwart Moscow’s Middle East energy land bridge. Europe’s energy security and America’s influence in the Middle East are too important to cede to Russia.

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Only if they are convinced that there is more to lose than gain by prolonging their war against Israel, and that driving the Jews into the sea is an impossible dream, might they resign themselves to what they regard as the shameful alternative: serious negotiations leading to compromises (on both sides) culminating in a situation rare in the long and bloody history of the Middle East: independent nations peacefully coexisting.

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Projects