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Saudi Arabia turns down Security Council membership

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that it is refusing to accept a UN Security Council seat because the Council has failed to resolve the Palestinian issue, the Syrian conflict and to make the Middle East free of nuclear weapons.


On Thursday Saudi Arabia won, for the first time, a seat as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council along with Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria.

However a Foreign Ministry official statement asserted: “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 193 members of the UN General Assembly elected the five countries on Thursday for a two-year term beginning in January 2014.

Saudi Arabia won 176 votes, Chad won 184 votes, Nigeria and Chile won 186 votes while Lithuania won 187 votes.

The Security Council, which at any given time includes 15 member states, annually renews five out of the ten non-permanent seats on a regional basis. This year, the states that have been selected did not have any competitors in their respective regions, and will replace Morocco, Togo, Pakistan, Guatemala and Azerbaijan.

The other five non-permanent members are Rwanda, Argentina, Luxembourg, South Korea and Australia, whose mandate expires by the end of 2014.

The Security Council’s five permanent member states, which have veto power, include the US, China, France, Russia and Britain.

The new member states are interested in weighing in on some of the issues closely watched by the Security Council. Saudi Arabia supports the Syrian armed opposition while considers Iran as a regional rival. Chad and Niger participated in the recent UN Mission to stabilize Mali.

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