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13:43 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Turkish PM Erdogan Calls for Urgent UN Reforms

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the United Nations should carry out internal reforms as it is unfair that five countries, permanent members of the UN Security Council, decide the fate of other countries.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the United Nations should carry out internal reforms as it is unfair that five countries, permanent members of the UN Security Council, decide the fate of other countries.

Addressing the Istanbul conference on democracy and security in the Black Sea region, Erdogan said the UN failure to resolve the violent political crisis in Syria highlights the urgency of these reforms.

"The UN is losing its credibility by turning a blind eye to what is happening in Syria," Erdogan said describing the situation in the country torn by internal political crisis as a human tragedy.

The 20-month-old Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has claimed up to 20,000 lives according to UN estimates. More than 230,000 have become refugees with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance.

Erdogan has repeatedly called on Assad to step down accusing him of murdering his own people. Turkey has allegedly been supplying Syrian rebels with weaponry.

Tensions between Damascus and Ankara escalated in October after an artillery shell allegedly fired by the Syrian army landed in a Turkish border village killing five and injuring 11 local residents.

In response, the Turkish parliament authorized the government to launch cross-border military operations as a deterrent against potential attacks from Syria for the period of one year.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, is expected to hold talks in Turkey on Saturday to learn Turkey's view of the situation as the escalation of tensions between Damascus and Ankara has fueled fears that the violent conflict in Syria may drag other countries into a regional war.