Reflections

In the Middle East, Russia Seems to Be Everywhere

Dec 13, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, to Ankara on Dec. 11.

Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin to Ankara on Dec. 11. Turkey was the last of three countries Putin visited in a single day, after Syria and Egypt.

(ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia's growing prominence in the Middle East was on full display Dec. 11 when Vladimir Putin visited three key Middle Eastern countries in one day. The Russian president followed a surprise trip to Syria with a quick stop in Egypt before ending his day's travels in Turkey. He met with his presidential counterparts in all three countries, and the economic deals, military agreements and political settlements he discussed highlighted Russia's role in the region. While Russia has its own reasons for bolstering its relationships with Syria, Egypt and Turkey, it also benefits from being visible where its regional rival, the United States, is not....

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