World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the United Nations for arranging him to sit at the same table with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Reports on Friday stated that Erdogan had refused to attend a luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the UN General Assembly in New York when he learned he would be sitting on the same table as the Egyptian leader.
According to Turkey's NTV, Erdogan and al-Sisi were arranged to sit on the same table as Ban Ki-Moon, US President Barack Obama and South African President Jacob Zuma, with Zuma sitting between to two rivals.
Turkey's Yeni Safak reported that Erdogan said he was not aware as to whether or not the seating arrangement was done intentionally or not, but said there was an effort on behalf of the UN to legitimize al-Sisi, who came to power after a military coup which he led ousted Egypt's elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
In a hard-hitting speech in New York on Thursday, Erdogan criticized the UN’s inaction over the "coup" in Egypt.
"If we are going to defend people who come to power through coups, then I ask the question why we exist as the United Nations," Erdogan said at the General Assembly on Thursday.
"The United Nations as well as democratic countries have done nothing but watch events, such as the overthrowing of the elected president in Egypt and the killings of thousands of innocent people who wanted to defend their choice. And the person who carried out this coup is being legitimized,” Erdogan complained.
In response to Erdogan's comments, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry cancelled a planned meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.
"[Erdogan's speech] included lies and fabrications and totally disregarded the will of the great Egyptian people as reflected on June 30 [the mass protests that led to the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the military on July 3 of last year]," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said.
Last November, Egypt downgraded its diplomatic relations with Turkey to the level of charge d'affaires and recalled its ambassador from Ankara. Turkey responded with similar measures.Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2014, 14:12