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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Saudi Arabia Says No to UN Security Council Seat

Inaction over vital matters in the Middle East was the reason given by the Saudis for rejecting the seat it just won on the UN Security Council

Saudi Arabia will not be assuming its seat on the UN Security Council, citing the body's failure of meeting its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace

Saudi Arabia will not be assuming its seat on the UN Security Council, citing the body's failure of meeting its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace

Just a day after having won a seat (for which it had lobbied) for the first time on the United Nations Security Council, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejected the coveted seat.

The reason?

Saudi Arabia … is refraining from taking membership of the U.N. 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,”it said in a Foreign Ministry statement.

What is really going on seems to be that someone at the highest level in the kingdom is furious over international relations with respect to the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is particularly disgusted by U.S. failure to halt Iran’s move towards hegemony in the region. Close second and third concerns are the failures, in its view, of the U.S. to support the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt and to conclude the ongoing civil war in Syria.  Both of the latter two conflicts are also seen as proxy wars for Iranian control.

Although nearly every nation expressed some level of surprise over the Saudi Security Council seat rejection, the kingdom had sent a strong signal of displeasure last month when the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal cancelled his speech at the U.N. General Assembly. The reason given at the time was displeasure over the body’s inaction on vital matters in the Middle East.

The only other time anyone can recall that a member nation of the U.N. rejected a seat on the Security Council is back in 195o, when the Soviet Union boycotted its permanent seat for half a year in protest at Taiwan’s occupation of the Chinese seat instead of Beijing.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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