Russia: Saudi rejection of UNSC seat ‘strange’

Russia: Saudi rejection of UNSC seat ‘strange’
Fri Oct 18, 2013 18:52:06

Russia says Saudi Arabia’s decision to reject UN Security Council membership is ‘strange’ especially kingdom’s accusations regarding the war in Syria which Riyadh happens to be one of its biggest funders.

"We are surprised by Saudi Arabia's unprecedented decision" to reject the seat, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It added, "The kingdom's arguments arouse bewilderment and the criticism of the UN Security Council in the context of the Syrian conflict is particularly strange."

Saudi Arabia earlier Friday rejected temporary membership of the Security Council and accused the body of "double-standards" in resolving conflicts like Syria.

"In this way, Saudi Arabia has excluded itself from collective work within the Security Council to support international peace and security."

Russia and Saudi Arabia have been at loggerheads over Riyadh’s huge financial and military support to hundreds of militants groups to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia rejected what many saw as a bribery offer by the influential Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Moscow on July 31.

Diplomats in the Middle East said that Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected a proposal from Prince Bandar for Moscow to abandon its support for Syria in exchange for a huge arms order from Riyadh worth $15 billion.

However the Kremlin later denied that the two men had discussed military cooperation or any deals.

Widely known as the central figure of Saudi activities aimed at toppling the Syrian government, Prince Bandar is the son of the late crown prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, who died in 2011.


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