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19:31, 19 February 2017 Sunday
Update: 14:26, 13 October 2012 Saturday

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Erdogan: UN must be reformed on justice
Erdogan: UN must be reformed on justice

Turkish Prime Minister rebuked the U.N. Security Council for inaction over Syria, saying the world body of superpowers was repeating mistakes that led to massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s.

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the United Nations (UN) must be reformed on justice.

Delivering a speech at the Istanbul World Forum, Erdogan said that structural injustice was clearly seen in functioning of several international organizations especially the UN.

"It is time to change structures of international organizations especially the UN Security Council," he said.

The UN Security Council did not intervene in human tragedy in Syria which has been continuing for 20 months, he said, noting that at least 30,000 people have been killed in Syria so far. The Council could not pursue an effective policy in regard to incidents in Syria, he said.

Premier Erdogan said that Syrian people deserved justice.

Turkey has been pursuing a policy complying with justice regarding this issue from the very beginning, he said.

"The UN is losing its credibility by turning a blind eye to what is happening in Syria," Erdogan said describing the situation in the country torn by internal political crisis as a human tragedy.

Erdogan said a system which allowed one or two nations to block intervention in such a massive humanitarian crisis was inherently unjust, and that Syria would go down in history as a U.N. failure much like Bosnia in the 1990s.

"How sad is that the United Nations is as helpless today as it was 20 years go when it watched the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people in the Balkans, Bosnia and Srebrenica," Erdogan told the Istanbul conference.

The July 1995 massacre in Srebrenica was the worst on European soil since World War Two, in which Dutch U.N. peacekeepers abandoned what had been designated a U.N. safe haven to advancing Bosnian Serb forces, who then killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys and bulldozed their corpses into pits.

Turkish officials had expressed hope they might be able to persuade Moscow, which sold Syria $1 billion of arms last year, to soften its strident opposition at the Security Council and that if it succeeded, China would follow suit.

The 20-month-old Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has claimed up to 20,000 lives according to UN estimates. More than 230,000 have become refugees with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance.

Erdogan has repeatedly called on Assad to step down accusing him of murdering his own people. Turkey has allegedly been supplying Syrian rebels with weaponry.

Tensions between Damascus and Ankara escalated in October after an artillery shell allegedly fired by the Syrian army landed in a Turkish border village killing five and injuring 11 local residents.

In response, the Turkish parliament authorized the government to launch cross-border military operations as a deterrent against potential attacks from Syria for the period of one year.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, is expected to hold talks in Turkey on Saturday to learn Turkey's view of the situation as the escalation of tensions between Damascus and Ankara has fueled fears that the violent conflict in Syria may drag other countries into a regional war.

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Press agenda on February 19
Press agenda on February 19

Here are the main topics World Bulletin’s English Desk plans to cover Sunday Feb. 19, 2017 (coverage may change depending on developing/breaking stories): BAGHDAD Iraqi forces launch an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul's west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. 700 words 0530 GMT by Ammar Karim and Jean-Marc Mojon US-militant-Egypt-prison,2ndlead WASHINGTON The sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian-born cleric linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78 in a US prison facility after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery disease. 650 words moved by Maggy Donaldson. File Picture Ukraine-Russia-conflict,WRAP MOSCOW A truce between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine will come into force Monday, Moscow and Kiev say, though some separatists are already labelling it unfeasible. 500 words moved by Anais Llobet Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,WRAP BERLIN Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a love story set in a slaughterhouse, wins the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. 700 words moved by Deborah Cole. Picture. Video Also moved: Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-prizes,FACTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,POINTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-winners,CHRONO -- ASIA -- NKorea-Malaysia-diplomacy-community,SCENE KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's only North Korean restaurant promises a glimpse into life in the reclusive state but it has been shuttered since news broke of the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un's brother, with security guards turning customers away. 650 words 0600 GMT by Elizabeth Law. Picture. Video -- AMERICAS -- US-politics-Trump-Melania,lead MELBOURNE, Florida First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, breaks with form, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. 600 words moved by Michael Mathes with Stephanie Griffith in Washington. Picture. Video. US-media-politics-technology WASHINGTON As President Donald Trump warns of a crackdown on US government leaks to media, interest is growing in technology tools that allow sources to share information anonymously. 750 words moved by Rob Lever Venezuela-politics-opposition-US CARACAS Venezuela and the United States lock horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including over the detention of a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital to demand his release.