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Saudi Arabia turned down a temporary seat on the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council on Friday, citing the Council’s double standards and failures when it came to finding solutions to conflicts in the Middle East.
The nation’s announcement was shocking, especially considering the excitement of many Saudi diplomats that their country was elected to serve on the Council, The New York Times writes.
Saudi Arabia has demonstrated their disappointment in the Security Council’s failures with regards to Syria, as well as their inability to find a solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict. Saudi leaders are especially angry with the U.N.’s lack of action in punishing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for their chemical weapon attack that left hundreds of thousands dead, Reuters reports. This anger is made all the more vivid, considering that Saudi Arabia backs the Syrian rebels, while their arch rival for power in the Middle East, Iran, is a supporter of Assad.
In a statement issued by the Saudi Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia expressed that they are “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.”