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What Biden May Bring to the Eastern Mediterranean Region

This paper aims to forecast the route that Joe Biden, will take in his foreign policy toward the Eastern Mediterranean, by trying to analyze the content of his speeches and rhetoric before and shortly after taking office. In this context, America’s relation to Turkey will be pivotal in order to gauge the impact of any change in U.S. course. After four years of Trump’s doctrine of ‘America First’ and his bilateral approach, there are many expectations that the newly elected president will follow a more multilateral approach and will put more importance on international organizations and alliances across the Atlantic. Those expectations are more like wishes, however, when it comes to the Eastern Mediterranean, which is on the verge of a critical standoff between Turkey and its neighbors. There are some speculations that Biden will take a more affirmative stance against Turkey. Indeed, Biden has stressed the value of cooperating with allies to achieve foreign policy objectives. But despite the harsh language, Biden used during his election campaign to describe Turkey’s leadership, it is still unclear whether Biden will place the U.S. on a collision course with Turkey.

What Biden May Bring to the Eastern Mediterranean Region
U.S. President Joe Biden signing his first decrees after his inauguration ceremony, on January 20, 2021. EPA / DOUG MILLS / POOL / AA
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The Trump Administration was characterized by its indifference to collective actions in exchange for a greater focus on bilateral relations. The former U.S. president was deemed ‘unpredictable’ in his foreign policy, as he marginalized the role of NATO and international organizations in managing various issues; the Eastern Mediterranean was no exception. In this article, we aim to study the Biden Administration’s main foreign policy objectives toward the Eastern Mediterranean by conducting a content analysis of his speeches and articles, within the framework of the multilateral approach he said he would follow, which includes working with allies in order to strengthen democracy around the world as a central tenet of his foreign policy approach. Biden is also expected to use ‘human rights’ as a tool with which to prod his rivals in the wider context of emerging powers in the region and the new competition over influence and energy resources.

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