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WATCH: Turkey’s Erdogan criticizes U.N. for leaving countries ‘on their own’ at start of pandemic

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday criticized the start of the pandemic “where countries were left on their own,” stressing that “effective multilateralism requires effective multilateral institutions.”

Watch Erdoğan’s remarks in the player above.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual high-level meeting, he urged rapid implementation of “comprehensive and meaningful reforms, starting with the restructuring of the Security Council,” the U.N.’s most powerful body.

Erdogan also commented on a tense standoff over rights to exploit potential offshore natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean, saying that Turkey prioritised dialogue, but “will not tolerate any impositions, harassments or attacks.”

Greece and Turkey are close to reviving talks on the long-standing maritime disputes following, a Greek official said on Monday.

NATO members Greece and Turkey have been at odds for decades over maritime boundaries for commercial exploitation in the Aegean Sea, as well as in an area of the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey’s southern coast, several Greek islands and the war-divided island of Cyprus.

The General Assembly’s annual meetings traditionally serve as a platform for countries to tout accomplishments, seek support, stoke rivalries and express views on global priorities.

This year, the platform is online, and there is a pressing new priority in the pandemic that has killed over 960,000 people worldwide.

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