ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The prime minister of Turkey said Sunday there will be no peace or stability in the Middle East until dictatorships are ended.
In his recorded video message to the U.N. Alliance of Civilization's meeting in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted authoritarian rulers in the Middle East, including Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he called "a good friend" earlier this year, Sunday's Zaman reported.
"Bloodshed and tears must end in the Middle East," Erdogan said.
"Peace won't be seen in the offing while state terror continues, peace efforts are sabotaged, bombs are pounding on innocent children, innocent people are imprisoned in open-air penitentiaries," Erdogan told the participants from more than 130 countries.
Erdogan also expressed disappointment in the U.S. decision not to make a a $60 million payment to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in November because the agency approved a bid for Palestine's full membership.
Erdogan was not able to attend the Doha meeting because of a minor surgery he had last week.