Saudi Arabia Thinks It’s Too Good For The United Nations Security Council

Saudi Arabia UN

Just hours after it was elected to one of the 10 non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, Saudi Arabia gave the U.N. a slap in the face and rejected their seat.

Apparently Saudi Arabia has better things to do with its time than deal with an ineffective international body incapable of resolving the world’s conflicts. Their words, not mine.

In its long list of U.N grievances, Saudi Arabia criticized the Security Council for failing in its duties towards Syria and other Middle Eastern conflicts, condemned what it called “international double standards” on the Middle East, expressed anger over the Obama’s new cozy relationship with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and accused the U.N. of allowing the Syrian government “to kill its own people with chemical weapons... without confronting it or imposing any deterrent sanctions”. Ouch. However, if you’re declining a seat on the Security Council because you’re angry the U.N didn’t authorize a war in Syria, then maybe you don’t belong on the Security Council to begin with…

Regardless of whether or not they should be there, the Saudi foreign ministry said the U.N. needs to be reformed before it will join.

“Saudi Arabia … is refraining from taking membership of the UN 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,” said a Foreign Ministry statement issued on state media.

The unprecedented move left diplomats a little surprised. Who would reject such a coveted seat? But no one was more shocked at the decision than Russia, who holds a permanent, veto-wielding seat:

“We are surprised by Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented decision,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement from Moscow, “The kingdom’s arguments arouse bewilderment and the criticism of the U.N. Security Council in the context of the Syria conflict is particularly strange.”

Russia and Saudi Arabia have never been the best of friends but their traditionally testy relationship has taken a turn for the worse in recent years over the Syrian conflict. Maybe Saudi Arabia figured if they ever tried to become more assertive in resolving the Syrian war and further their support for the Syrian rebels, Russia would just veto them into oblivion.

Via: BBC News

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