Cyprus, Armenia against Turkish MP heading UN General Assembly

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Cyprus and Armenia UN Permanent Representatives have urged UN chief Antonio Guterres to hold a secret ballot for Turkey’s Volkan Bozkir as President of the General Assembly at its 75th session.

A letter opposing the silence procedure, circulated as an official document of the UN General Assembly was signed by Cyprus Representative Andreas Mavroyiannis and Armenia’s Mher Margaryan.

“We consider that leadership of the sole universal principal organ of the United Nations should be held by a national of a Member State that is exemplary in its compliance with the norms and values of the United Nations.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with the State nominating Mr. Bozkir,” they argued in their letter.

They said Turkey threatens peace and security in its region by consistently violating the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including UN sanctions regimes, to realize regional domination.

“It does so by displaying a pattern of aggressive behaviour towards its neighbouring countries, encroaching on their territory, undermining their sovereignty and territorial integrity, questioning their sovereign rights and instrumentalizing the plight of refugees and migrants for political ends.”

Mavroyiannis and Margaryan also argued that by imposing and sustaining an illegal land blockade on Armenia for almost three decades, Turkey effectively impedes the transit through and access to the sea of the neighbouring landlocked country.

“Turkey’s persistent policies of denying and attacking the memory and the dignity of the victims of the genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire 105 years ago continue to pose a security threat for Armenia and the wider region.”

Moreover, they argued that Turkey invaded Cyprus and has continued to occupy more than a third of its territory for almost 50 years and continues to deny its very existence by insisting on not recognizing it.

“It is for these reasons that our delegations object to the election of Mr. Bozkir by silence procedure and request that the election of the President of the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session be held by secret ballot.”

The election of the President of the UN General Assembly has been set for June 17, on the same day as the election of the five new members of the Security Council.

Since there is no other candidate, the election of the Turkish member of parliament is considered a certainty.

Greece and the United Arab Emirates also sent letters, asking for the silence procedure to be terminated. (source CNA)