Outspoken Recep Tayyip Erdoğan challenges both Washington and Moscow

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Turkey’s president casts himself as the champion of a militant pan-Islamic revival – and is proving a thorn in the side of enemies and allies alike

The reaction of leading Arab states to Donald Trump’s hopelessly unbalanced Middle East “peace plan”, unveiled last week, was muted and mealy-mouthed. It seems the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would sooner abandon the Palestinians than upset their ludicrous Iran-bashing ally in the White House.

Yet one regional leader stood out. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, was furious at what he saw as a US-endorsed Israeli land-grab – and said so. “Giving Jerusalem to Israel is absolutely unacceptable. It ignores Palestinians’ rights and is aimed at legitimising Israel’s occupation,” he said. The Arabs’ silence was “pitiable”.

Erdoğan is nothing if not outspoken, often offensively so. But at least he sticks to his beliefs and says what he thinks

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