World View: In Humiliation, Turkey Loses Security Council Seat over Syria Policy

World View: In Humiliation, Turkey Loses Security Council Seat over Syria Policy

This morning’s key headlines from

  • In humiliation, Turkey loses Security Council seat over Syria policy
  • Venezuela scores anti-U.S. coup by winning Security Council seat
  • Pakistan’s Taliban leaders declare allegiance to ISIS

In humiliation, Turkey loses Security Council seat over Syria policy

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In a major humiliation to Turkey, the U.N. General Assembly onThursday selected Spain instead of Turkey to hold a non-permanentSecurity Council seat in 2015. Turkey’s president Recep TayyipErdogan had been lobbying hard for several months to win approval forthe seat. Last month, Erdogan sucked up to several emerging marketcountries by promising to open up the five permanent member seats toother countries:

The world is bigger than five. The fate of a countryshould not be in the hands of the US, France, Russia, China or theUK. […]

A rotating system which would allow 193 member countries to berepresented at the Council should be formed. There should be nonotion of permanent membership; every country should have thechance to be represented.

There was even a posh party on Wednesday, the night before the vote.

But apparently all the sucking up did no good. The non-permanentseats are divided by groups or regions, and Turkey is in the “WesternEuropean and Others Group,” and within that group, Turkey wascompeting with Spain and New Zealand for two seats. New Zealand wonapproval for one of the seats, and it was widely expected that Turkeywould get the other seat. So it was a surprise to everyone whenTurkey got only 60 votes in the General Assembly, and Spain won theseat with 132 votes in the secret ballot.

Turkey was apparently caught by surprise because of an intenselobbying effort by some of his former allies in the Gulf CooperationCouncil (GCC). Egypt and Saudi Arabia led the anti-Turkey effortbecause of Erdogan’s support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood,which Egypt and Saudi Arabia consider to be a terrorist organization.

But the main force behind the anti-Turkey vote was Turkey’s Syriapolicy. Leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)are fuming at Turkey’s unwillingness to fully back the militarycoalition against the Islamic State (IS or ISIS orISIL). One European diplomat was quoted as saying:

I thought they [Turkey] would lose votes, but thescale of their loss is surprising to me, very much so. It seemsthat Turkey was killed by the GCC [Gulf CooperationCouncil].

Turkey’s Syria policy — and its frequent calls to unseat Syria’spresident Bashar al-Assad — pulled additional votes away from Turkey,including those of Syria and Iran. And Greece, Turkey’s traditionalenemy since ancient times, is also said to have lobbied againstTurkey.

Since the voting was conducted by a secret ballot, it’s not knownwhether the United States voted for or against Turkey. Business Insider and Newsweek and Middle East Eye

Venezuela scores anti-U.S. coup by winning Security Council seat

Venezuela was unopposed in its regional group, and received 181 votesin the 193-member General Assembly, more than enough to get anon-permanent Security Council seat in 2015, despite ten abstentions.Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro said:

This is the victory of Hugo Chávez Frias. Chavezkeeps winning battles in the world … It’s a day in which theworld has supported our fatherland.

Venezuela is expected to back allies Iran, Syria and Russia, and totake other anti-American positions. Since Venezuela, Syria, Iran andRussia are all such paragons of human rights, I’m sure we can expect amuch more moral U.N. Security Council next year. Foreign Policy and World Bulletin (Turkey)

Pakistan’s Taliban leaders declare allegiance to ISIS

As we reported two weeks ago, the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban(Tehrik-e-Taliban – TTP) have decided to switch sides and support theIslamic State instead theal-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) in Syria. ( “6-Oct-14 World View — ISIS influence spreads in Asia, as Pakistan Taliban pledges support”)

On Monday, the TTP leaders went beyond support for ISIS by declaringfull allegiance to ISIS, repudiating their previous pledges ofallegiance to al-Qaeda. According to Shahidullah Shahid, now a formerTTP leader:

I declare allegiance to the Caliph of Muslims, AmirulMomineen Abu Bakar al Baghdadi al Qarshi al Hussaini. I willlisten and follow his every instruction whatever the situation mayhave been. This allegiance is neither from the TTP or its chief,Mullah Fazlullah. This is only from me and fiveleaders.

This statement hastens the disintegration of both the TTP andal-Qaeda, and signals the increasing strength of ISIS. Dawn (Pakistan) and Tribune (Pakistan)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood,Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UAE,Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez, Russia,Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban, TTP, Pakistan Taliban, Shahidullah Shahid,Mullah Fazlullah
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