Saudi Arabia Rejects Security Council Seat

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from The New York Times,

Saudi Arabia stunned the United Nations and even some of its own diplomats on Friday by taking the unprecedented step of rejecting a highly coveted seat on the Security Council it had won for the first time just a day earlier.

The sudden reversal was a decision made at the highest levels in the Saudi monarchy. It appeared to reflect a deep-seated anger over what the monarchy regards as a failure by the Security Council to deal effectively with the major problems in the Middle East: the Syrian war, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the influence of Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

The decision, made known in a statement issued by the Saudi Foreign Ministry and carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, seemed to suddenly invalidate extensive planning by Saudi diplomats who had expressed excitement that their country was about to assume such a prominent position.

At the least, the rejection revealed a sharp internal divide in Saudi Arabia’s hierarchy over how the oil-rich kingdom should be wielding its influence in the world.

“The manner, the mechanisms of action and double standards existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities toward preserving international peace and security as required,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

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