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Saudi Arabia turns down UN council seat

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June 17, 2019 by admin

Saudi Arabia has rejected a seat on the UN Security Council to protest what it says is a lack of international efforts to end world conflicts.


“The kingdom believes that double standards in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities towards keeping peace and security in the world,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The oil-rich kingdom, which was elected on Thursday as a non-permanent member to replace Pakistan in representing the Asia-Pacific region, said the Security Council “allowed the Syrian regime to kill its people and burn them using chemical weapons”.

The five permanent, veto-wielding members of the 15-nation council had been deadlocked for months on any action over Syria and its 31-month civil war with Russia blocking statements even on humanitarian issues.

But on September 27, it unanimously approved a resolution ordering the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Saudi Arabia has backed the rebels fighting to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Security Council seat would have been the first time Saudi Arabia would have had a place on the United Nations’ highest decision-making body.

The oil-rich country, a major power player in the Muslim world, also on Friday criticised the council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The continuation of the Palestinian issue without a just and lasting solution for 65 years … is clear evidence of the Security Council’s inability to perform its duties and carry out its responsibilities,” it said.

Four other countries – Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria – have also been elected unopposed to seats on the council by the 193-member UN General Assembly.

They will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo on the 15-nation council on January 1.

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