Turkey in EU would bolster Arab partnership with Europe: analystsTurkey in EU would bolster Arab partnership with Europe: analysts
Arab countries believe Turkey entering the European Union would strengthen their own relations with Europe and bolster efforts to portray Islam as a moderate religion, analysts say. "Turkey's negotiations with the European Union are a sign of encouragement," said Fares Braizat, a researcher at the center of Centre of Strategic Studies of the University of Jordan. "For the Arabs it means that Turkey could play a play a significant role within the European Union regarding EU policies towards the Arab and Muslim regions. Turkey is seen as a model for positive engagement with the world." With one foot firmly planted in the East and the other in the West, Turkey is seen by other Muslim countries as a role model that has successfully balanced tradition and modernisation. By accepting Turkey, "the EU will be shedding its Christian club label, improving Europe's image in the Muslim world and encouraging Turkey's model -- a moderate Islamic state which is also a democracy," Ansari said. "This would help moderates and liberals across the Muslim world to confront Islamic extremism." "Turkey's membership is important for Syria because it will become Europe's direct neighbour," said Elias Murad, the chief editor of Al-Baath, the ruling party's newspaper. "This will contribute to improve political and economic relations with the EU," Murad said.