Turtle Bay

Bibi in the lead for longest UNGA speech

This afternoon, I conferred the award for the longest U.N. General Assembly speech to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent 39 minutes, 23 seconds, beating up on Israel, Syria, and the Greek Cypriots. Then the Palestinians and Israelis hit the podium. Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas breezed easily past the Turkish leader, announcing the Palestinian ...

This afternoon, I conferred the award for the longest U.N. General Assembly speech to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent 39 minutes, 23 seconds, beating up on Israel, Syria, and the Greek Cypriots.

Then the Palestinians and Israelis hit the podium.

Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas breezed easily past the Turkish leader, announcing the Palestinian intention to pursue membership at the U.N. in a speech that lasted 41 minutes, 11 seconds.

Not to be outdone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back with a defiant rebuke of his Palestinian counterpart that went on for a whopping 48 minutes, 30 seconds, more than triple the time allotted for General Assembly speeches.

Lost in the struggle for words was the Southern Sudanese leader, Salva Kiir, who delivered the brand new country’s first speech before the U.N. General Assembly. He knocked it off in all of 14 minutes, 40 seconds — a mere 20 seconds short of the allotted time. Who knows, maybe the new guy on the block has something to teach the old timers.

Follow me on Twitter @columlynch

Colum Lynch is a senior staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @columlynch

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