Addressing UN general assembly, Erdogan calls for stronger INTL cooperation
Addressing the 64th session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the need for a fairer global system that includes everyone without any discrimination, sees differences as a rich resource, and is based on trust and sharing. Stating that the issues facing the world today are global, such as wars, economic crisis, famine, poverty, energy security and climate change, Erdogan said, "These are tough, major issues but they are not insurmountable. Global issues require global solutions. It is possible to switch from a world order based on threat perception to one based on trust and solidarity. This is now a necessity for the world, and this transformation requires a new understanding of leadership. We can make the 21st century an era of trust, justice, peace and prosperity instead of injustice, fear, famine, violence, terror and poverty." Erdogan said helping to make such a world order is the common and historic duty of all nations, regardless of their differences. Thanking UN member states for supporting Turkey's successful bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, Erdogan said there should be more such seats. He called for a strengthening of the UN's peacekeeping system as part of planned UN reforms. Touching on Turkey's policy of zero problems with neighboring countries, Erdogan stressed Ankara's pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in its region in recent years, citing ongoing reconciliation talks with Armenia. On the Cyprus issue, Erdogan said Turkey expects the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to hold simultaneous referenda on a solution to the issue next spring at the latest, and warned that if a deal proves unreachable due to Greek Cypriot intransigence, then normalization of the international status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will become an immediate necessity. Erdogan also warned that peace talks on the issue can't be go on forever, urging more efforts to make the process successful. On Iraq, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey would continue to support the country's territorial integrity, political unity and peace. On the Palestinian issue, Erdogan said the issue should be solved on the basis of a two-state solution, and lamented the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Gaza. Urging UN member states to keep their promises of international aid, Erdogan said, "We ask for the normalization of life in Gaza. The Palestinian issue can't be solved by focusing only on the demands of the one side. We call on interested parties not to remain indifferent to the issue, and not to turn a blind eye to the recurrence of tragedies in the region." Later addressing a leaders' summit of the UN Security Council, Erdogan said that weapons of mass destruction would not make any country safer, but instead harm peace and stability. "Therefore, Turkey places great importance on efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, especially in the Middle East," he added. Erdogan also said nuclear security should be strengthened worldwide. "Nuclear terrorism and the illegal trade of nuclear materials are serious threats that should be fought with a common global commitment," he said. Erdogan stated that a progressive and continuous approach should be taken on the nuclear disarmament issue. He also reiterated Turkey's stance that countries fully meeting their liabilities regarding international security inspections should be allowed to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes without any restrictions.