Greece, Cyprus and Armenia Block Turkey from Leading UN General Assembly

From left, foreign minister of Armenia, Greece and Cyprus Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Giorgos Katrougalos, and Nikos Christodoulides during a meeting in June 2019
From left, foreign minister of Armenia, Greece and Cyprus Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Giorgos Katrougalos, and Nikos Christodoulides during a meeting in June 2019

From left, foreign minister of Armenia, Greece and Cyprus Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Giorgos Katrougalos, and Nikos Christodoulides during a meeting in June 2019

In a move never seen before at the United Nations General Assembly, Greece, Cyprus and Armenia objected to a bid by Turkey to become the next president of the UN General Assembly, T24 reported on Monday.

The U.N. president serves a one-year term and the office rotates among five regional groupings of UN member states and in this the Western Europe and Others Group, in which Turkey belongs to, will hold the 2020-2021 term, Ahval explained. Turkey’s candidate is Volkan Bozkır, a former Minister of European Affairs and senior diplomat.

Bozkır, an member of the Turkish parliament representing the ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was to be head of the UN General Assembly in September 2020 for a 12 month period, but there are now question marks whether this will occur.

Although Greece, Cyprus and Armenia initially supported Turkey’s nomination to be the head of the UN General Assembly, they later decided to reject their candidacy.

The three countries who have a deep historical animosity towards Turkey, each having experienced genocide by the Turks that to this day Ankara refuses to acknowledge, rejected Turkey’s candidacy during “the silence procedure” that allowed members states 72 hours to raise objections on a draft resolution or decision.

This comes at a time when Turkey is threatening to violate Greece’s maritime space to extract natural resources, in what can be described as piracy. Turkey is already violating Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone in the research of oil and gas, but has thus far failed.

Recently, Josep Borrell, the EU’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, called on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus. “We are in close contact with our colleagues, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and also of Cyprus, in order to monitor the state of drilling and call on Turkey to stop drilling in areas where there is an EEZ or territorial waters of Cyprus and Greece,” said Borrell, adding that the Foreign Affairs Council “already delivered a strong message addressed to Turkey.”

On Saturday during an interview for Politico Europe, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said that if Turkey did not end its aggression in the eastern Mediterranean it should no longer be an EU candidate.

“Either they are compliant with the terms and conditions of any other candidate country, otherwise they could not be either a candidate or accepted,” Anastasiades said.

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