Talks aimed at overcoming a years-long deadlock over disarmament at the United Nations began in acrimony on Tuesday with two countries blocking rivals from taking part in widely criticised manoeuvres that sparked concern about the forum’s future.
Iran blocked Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from joining as observers, lashing out at the former’s military record, while Turkey blocked Cyprus in a trend that marks a significant departure from normal U.N. protocol and might set a precedent for other bodies that operate on a consensus basis.
Iran’s delegate said that Saudi Arabia had used the forum as a platform for a “distraction and disinformation campaign” and called Riyadh “the largest military offender in the region”.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a close ally, intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 to fight the Iran-backed Houthi movement, while Turkey and Cyprus have long been at odds over the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the island’s north.
Read more: Reuters