Turkish prime minister slams UNSC over Syria

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 08:07 IST

Turkey’s prime minister sharply criticized the UN Security Council on Saturday for its failure to agree on decisive steps to end the 19-month civil war in Syria.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an international conference in Istanbul that the world was witnessing a “humanitarian tragedy” in Syria.

“If we wait for one or two of the permanent members ... then the future of Syria will be in danger,” said Erdogan, according to an official translator.

Russia and China — two of the five permanent members of the Security Council — have vetoed resolutions that sought to put concerted pressure on Damascus to end the conflict and agree to a political transition.

Erdogan called for a reform of the Security Council, which he called an "unequal, unfair system" that didn't represent the will of most countries.  He spoke as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was meeting with Arab and European leaders amid growing tensions between Turkey and its southern neighbor Syria.

Davutoglu held talks early Saturday with Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and was due to meet later with German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the UN’s envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

On Wednesday, Turkey intercepted a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus and seized what it said was military equipment on board. Syria denounced the move as air piracy, while Russia said the cargo was radar parts that complied with international law. Syria’s state-run news agency reported on Saturday that Damascus supported a proposal by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to find a “mechanism of direct security communication between Syria and Turkey.”

(Published 13 October 2012, 18:33 IST)

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