Heated exchange between Chinese, Turkish UN representatives during Syria debate
Chinese and Turkish ambassadors in the United Nations Security Council had a spat over Turkish airstrikes into Syria during a debate concerning the cross border aid operations into tohe country.
Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Geng Shuang stressed that Syria is a sovereign state and called on Turkey and Israel to immediately cease all cross-border attacks. Underscoring the need for a political solution, he said he hoped the Constitutional Committee of Syria will reconvene as soon as possible.
“Turkey has repeatedly pounded northern Syria with airstrikes and artillery shelling, and continues to threaten to launch ground actions. Israel has frequently attacked targets within Syrian territory. Syria is a sovereign state,” Shuang said.
He added: “Any military operations on its soil without the consent of the Syrian Government, whatever the pretext, would constitute a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on Turkey and Israel to immediately cease cross-border attacks, and find solutions through dialogue and consultation. Illegal presence of foreign troops in the Syrian territory must also end.”
Turkey's ambassador to the UN Fediun Sinirlioglu responded accusations by China angrily:
''No country is entitled to give us lessons about our fight against terrorism,'' Sinirlioglu told the UN Security Council. ''We reject the self-entitled statements that we listened to today, what we should do, what we should not do while defending our borders and protecting our people.''
He said Turkey would continue its ''unwavering fight against terrorism” and take every necessary step to ensure its border security.
Turkey has ramped up its shelling and air strikes on northern Syria, blaming Kurdish groups for a bomb attack that hit Istanbul on November 13, killing six and wounding 81 people. Ankara also threatens for a ground operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ad its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).