Saudi Arabia Rejects U.N. Security Council SeatBy: Bennett Rieser - October 20, 2013
Saudi Arabian discontent seems directed at the United States over some of D.C.’s decisions in the Middle East. The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a statement: “Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill its people and burn them with chemical weapons in front of the entire world and without any deterrent or punishment is clear proof and evidence of the U.N. Security Council’s inability to perform its duties and shoulder its responsibilities,” it boldly declares, as if they were powerless to help their Arab brothers, so we should have done something about it.
With regard to the Syrian conflict, Saudi Arabia has been openly backing the Free Syrian Army since 2011. Most Security Council attempts to address the problem go nowhere because of Russia’s repeated disapproval of resolutions against Syria, although they did manage to pass the resolution that ordered Assad’s chemical weapons to be destroyed.
In response to his government’s decision, Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the Security Council election was taken seriously and that it was “a reflection of a longstanding policy in support of moderation and in support of resolving disputes in peaceful means.” Russia, meanwhile, was described as “surprised” and “baffled” at Saudi Arabia’s move in the wake of agreements to disarm Damascus.
The U.N.’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said in response to questions that “I would like to caution you that I have received no official notification in this regard” and “We also are looking forward to working very closely in addressing many important challenges with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” going on to mention the Syrian civil war, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation. He reported getting in a brief private conversation with a senior Saudi official, but the details of that conversation are not known.[Image via this YouTube video]