UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Turkish foreign minister blasted the United Nations Security Council on Friday for its stalemate over the Syrian civil war, saying the powerful U.N. body's inability to take action "becomes a tool in the hands of despots."
Turkey has become home to 90,000 of the 300,000 refugees who have fled Syria in the 18 months of chaos that has raged since opposition groups rose up against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad. Activists say nearly 30,000 Syrians have been killed.
"Mercy shown to an oppressor is the most merciless act toward people under oppression," Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday in an address to the U.N. General Assembly. "And if not now, when are we supposed to act in unity? And if it is not the United Nations, who is to lead? If it is not us, then who will shoulder the responsibility to protect the innocent civilians?"
Egypt has asked Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran to work with Cairo to end the conflict. The Saudis have not so far participated.
Russia and China have blocked three council resolutions that could have led to sanctions on Syria.
"It is the inability of the Security Council to act that still encourages the Syrian regime to kill ever more people," Davutoglu said.