Saudis on UN Council Seat: Thanks, but No Thanks

Cites poor response to Syria in turning down its newly won spot
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
Saudis on UN Council Seat: Thanks, but No Thanks
In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, the United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapon, at U.N. Headquarters.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Fresh off winning a rotating seat on the 15-member UN Security Council, Saudi Arabia has made the unexpected move of refusing it, citing the body's poor response to unrest in the Middle East, specifically in Syria. In a statement reported by the New York Times, the Saudi Foreign Ministry argues "the method and work mechanism and the double standards in the Security Council prevent it from properly shouldering its responsibilities toward world peace," noting the country will only take its place once reforms have been made to boost the body's role in fostering that peace. It didn't give specifics.

Though the Times suggests that Saudi Arabia is frustrated that permanent members Russia and China have stymied some of the West's efforts regarding Syria (efforts the country supports), Reuters reports that much of the country's anger is directed at the US. It specifies that Saudi Arabia views American policies regarding the Arab Spring as damaging relations between the two countries; Washington's softening toward Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, hasn't sat well with the country, either. The Times calls it a "surprising" move, noting that it was the first time Saudi Arabia has gone after a Security Council seat, which many saw as an indication that it wanted to have a bigger hand in what's happening in Syria. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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