Salmond Stands by his Speech at TRT World Forum

Türkiye’s approach to UN reform and the Black Sea Grain Initiative are “worthy of praise”

Alex Salmond’s interview at the TRT World Forum can be seen here. In it, he makes a passionate plea for world leaders to act on the suffering in Gaza. Mr Salmond had been asked to address the Forum in Istanbul on the subject of Türkiye’s international policy and approach to the United Nations.

However, in today’s Times freelance journalist David Leask launches a contrived attack on Alex by securing critical quotes from Councillor Salih of the SNP and Green MSP Ross Greer. Mr Leask’s activities and connections, when Chief Reporter of The Herald, with the “Integrity Initiative”, funded by the British Army, The MOD and the Foreign Office, were exposed in 2018 and can be read in the following article. It is not known whether either Salih or Greer were familiar with Mr Leask’s record or indeed of the content and subject of Alex’s speech in Istanbul.

Alex is more than content for his comments from the World Forum both on why the inaction on Gaza makes the case for UN reform and on the Black Sea Grain initiative to be as widely disseminated as possible. He says

“I spoke at the TRT World Forum in December on the issue of Türkiye’s international policy and approach to the United Nations and was happy to do so.

“There are two aspects of Türkiye’s and President Erdogan’s approach to the UN which are highly praiseworthy.

“Firstly, Türkiye’s diplomatic concept that “the world is bigger than five” is a rallying call for the vast majority of the nations on the planet who want to see the United Nations freed from the immobilisation of the veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council. I was speaking on the very day that another UN resolution in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza was frustrated by the veto of the United States, and the abstention of the UK, despite the overwhelming public sentiment across the planet to stop the slaughter of the innocents.

“Secondly, last year’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by President Erdogan, and sanctioned by the United Nations Secretary-General, arguably saved millions of people principally in Africa from starvation, by containing the threat of hyperinflation of food prices in 2022. It has also been the single small step towards peace in Europe as well as providing a potential model for other UN-endorsed action.

“People can agree or disagree with my views as they wish, however, it is not my current responsibility to present the views of Scotland. That is the current job of the UK Government, who were represented at the World Forum, and indeed the current First Minister who met President Erdogan in an official capacity the week before in Dubai, drawing attacks from both the UK Government and members of his own party. In my view, both these sets of criticisms of Humza Yousaf were misjudged.”

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