Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized double standards regarding atomic activities of the United Nations members, saying nuclear power should either be free for all states or banned completely.
Speaking at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Erdogan drew attention to “inequality” between states, which have nuclear power and those which do not undermine global balances.
“The position of nuclear power should either be forbidden for all or permissible for everyone,” he pointed out in his address.
Back on September 5, Erdogan said nuclear-armed states cannot forbid Ankara from acquiring nuclear weapons, amid a row with the US over Ankara’s purchase of Russian military hardware.
“Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” he said in a speech in Turkey’s central province of Sivas at the time.
He said back then that Israel was using its nuclear arms to threaten others.
“We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them,” he said then.
Israel is known to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny that it has atomic bombs. The Tel Aviv regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. It has so far refused to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in defiance of international outcry.
Turkey, on the other hand, is a signatory to the Treaty on the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which are aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons.
Erdogan urges dialog on Kashmir
Elsewhere in his UN address, Erdogan touched on the issue of Kashmir, calling for dialogue for the solution of row between Pakistan and India on the Himalayan region.
He criticized international community for failing to pay attention to the Kashmir conflict, emphasizing that stability and prosperity of South Asia cannot be separated from the issue.
“In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbors, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision,” the Turkish president highlighted.
Kashmir has been in a crippling lockdown since New Delhi announced it was removing the region’s special status, which granted it autonomy, on August 5.
Since then, India has flooded the region with military forces, drawing widespread criticism. A recent government data showed that authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir had detained about 4,000 people in the crackdown over the past weeks.
Kashmir is generally considered a disputed territory. It has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the territory.
Speaking at a ceremony at Pakistan’s Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan on Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said there was “no chance of talks” with India about the crackdown until it lifted the curfew.