Judah Grunstein wonders if direct engagement with hostile states will deflate some of our allies who have worked as intermediaries:
What made Turkey such a valuable mediator between Israel and Syria was in part the fact that Israel and Syria refused to negotiate directly and in part Turkey's perceived (at the time) non-partiality. But it was also in large part due to the fact that the U.S. refused to engage in direct discussions with Syria, and therefore was unavailable to chaperone the talks.
The same goes even more for Turkey's potential to play a mediator role between the U.S. and Iran.
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