Egypt blocks UN call to respect ‘democratically elected’ govt in Turkey

  • Reuters, United Nations
  • Updated: Jul 17, 2016 15:33 IST
Supporters of Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan gather at Taksim Square in central Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)

The United Nations Security Council failed on Saturday to condemn the violence and unrest in Turkey after Egypt objected to a statement that called on all parties to “respect the democratically elected government of Turkey,” diplomats said.

The US-drafted statement, seen by Reuters, also expressed grave concern over the situation in Turkey, urged the parties to show restraint, avoid any violence or bloodshed, and called for an urgent end to the crisis and return to rule of law.

Read: Turkey’s bungled putsch: A strangely 20th century coup

Statements by the 15-member Security council have to be agreed by consensus.

“We proposed different language that respects democratic and constitutional principles but the Americans refused to engage,” Egypt’s UN ambassador Amr Aboulatta told Reuters.

Diplomats said Egypt asked for a call for all parties to “respect the democratically elected government of Turkey” to be removed from the draft statement, saying the council is “in no position to qualify, or label that government - or any other government for that matter - as democratically elected or not.”

After the United States and Britain objected to the proposed change to the text, Egypt proposed that the council call on the parties in Turkey to “respect the democratic and constitutional principles and the rule of law,” diplomats said.

Read: Coups and plots in Turkey over the past 50 years

Negotiations on the text ended at this point, diplomats said.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that it was “surprised that its proposed amendment was not taken up, and with the claim that it is obstructing the release of the statement.”

Turkish forces loyal to President Tayyip Erdogan largely crushed an attempted military coup on Saturday after crowds answered his call to take to the streets in support of the government and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks.

Read: Europe breathes easy as Turkey coup fails, but Erdogan a worry

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a former general who overthrew elected President Mohamed Mursi, of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013 after mass protests against Mursi. Turkey provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

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