Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council seat

Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council seat
Fri Oct 18, 2013 13:43:45

Saudi Arabia has said it would not take up its rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council, citing "double standards" which it said hampered the world body's ability to end conflicts.

"The kingdom sees that the method and work mechanism and the double standards in the Security Council prevent it from properly shouldering its responsibilities towards world peace," the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA on Friday.

It is the second time this month that Saudi Arabia has publicly expressed discontent over what it sees as the Security Council's failure to take action to stop a conflict in Syria.

Saudi Arabia, along with Chad and Nigeria, were elected by the UN General Assembly on Thursday to serve a two-year term on the UN Security Council as human rights groups called for all three countries to improve their records.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said it was unable to take its seat until reforms were introduced, but did not specify what reforms it wanted.

US-allied Saudi Arabia has been angry over what it says is the failure of the international community to help either Syrian militants fighting to topple the Syrian government or Palestinians seeking an end to more than four decades of Israeli occupation.

The Security Council has been split on how to handle the conflict in Syria, with Western powers pushing for stronger sanctions against the Syrian government and Russia vetoing resolutions to that end. Saudi Arabia has backed the rebels in that conflict.

The Saudi Arabia, along with other Arab states, have also often criticized the United States for blocking international action to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

Earlier this month, Saudi foreign minister cancelled a speech at the UN General Assembly in frustration over what he thought the international inaction on Syria and the Palestinian issue, a diplomatic source said.


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