Saudi Arabia officially rejects term on UN Security Council

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:52

United Nations: Saudi Arabia, in an unprecedented moved, formally rejected on Tuesday its two-year term on the UN Security Council, clearing the way for Jordan to take the seat as a replacement, Xinhua reported.

The Middle East power had previously decried the 15-member council`s ineffectiveness in dealing with world affairs, notably the Syrian crisis and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a letter Tuesday from Saudi Arabian permanent representative to the United Nations headquarters in New York, Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi officially served notice on the world organisation.

The move came after the Saudi foreign ministry issued a statement Oct 18 declining the position, one day after the 193-member UN General Assembly elected the country for a two-year council term starting Jan 1.

"The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to advise you that Saudi Arabia will regrettably not be in a position to assume its seat in the Security Council to which it was elected on Oct 17, 2013 for the period of 2014-2015," the letter read.

Observers believed the decision to not only boycott the council but to reject the election was directed at the US, its longtime ally, for the latter`s inability to negotiate a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for Washington not intervening in the Syrian civil war which has claimed well over 100,000 lives in more than 30-month fighting.

Jordan, which shares a border with Israel, has a vital interest in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also shares a border with Syria and has become a major destination for refugees fleeing the civil war.

The US is one of the five permanent, veto-wielding, members of the council along with Britain, China, France and Russia. The panel of 15 has five members elected to two-year terms every year.

IANS

First Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:52

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