Saudi Arabia: Security Council Offer to Join UN Rejected

Friday, 18 Oct 2013 02:48 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Saudi Arabia rejected an offer to join the United Nations Security Council on Friday because officials say the organization hasn't made any progress with issues in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.

"Saudi Arabia ... is refraining from taking membership of the U.N. Security Council until it has reformed so it can effectively and practically perform its duties and discharge its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.

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"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 added.

On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly elected Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, Chad, Nigeria, and Chile to the U.N. Security Council to serve a two-year term.

Various human rights organizations from around the world opposed the selection of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Chad to the Security Council on the grounds that they should prove they have a solid human rights record first, France24 reported.

Saudi Arabia has been critical of Russia and China's involvement in the Syrian conflict in the past. During Friday's announcement, the nation also took aim at Washington, Reuters reported.

The Syrian conflict wasn't the only gripe Saudi Arabia had with the council. They also protested that the organization has not done enough to bring peace to other areas of the Middle East, such as improving the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians.

"To have the Palestinian cause remaining without a fair and permanent solution for 65 years, which resulted in several wars that threatened international peace and security, is evidence and proof of (the) Security Council's inability to perform his duties and responsibilities," the ministry said, CNN reported.

France, a permanent member on the Security Council, appeared to agree with Saudi Arabia's assessment of the situation.

France's foreign ministry spokesman released a statement Friday that said, "We share their frustration after the paralysis of the Security Council."

Several weeks earlier, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister cancelled a speech before the U.N. General Assembly over frustration with the lack of leadership in the Palestinian conflict and Syria, a diplomatic source told France24.

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