Middle East rift: Egypt, Saudis prevent Turkey from getting coveted UN Security Council seat

Middle East rift: Egypt, Saudis prevent Turkey from getting coveted UN Security Council seat

In a tremendous upset, Turkey lost a contest in the United Nations General Assembly, exposing increasingly contentious frictions with some of its neighbors and world powers.

Trying to become a nonpermanent member of the Security Council, Turkey lost out to Spain and New Zealand in a contest for two available seats reserved for a voting bloc called the Western European and Others Group, which includes the United States.

In the past few days, according to several diplomatic sources, there was an intense campaign, led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, against Turkey’s membership in the council. The two countries are angered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which both are fighting at home. …

Syria, as well as its ally Iran and several others, are also peeved by Erdoğan’s frequent calls to unseat Syrian President Bashar Assad. Several Western countries are alarmed by recent reports of Turkish attacks on Kurds fighting ISIS in Syria. And Turkey’s traditional opponent, its neighbor Greece, is also said to have lobbied against its election to the U.N.’s most prestigious body. ..

After several rounds of voting, Turkey ended up receiving the support of only 60 General Assembly members, while Spain got 132 votes, more than enough to satisfy the necessary threshold of 128 supporters.

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