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Saudi Arabia's decision to reject UN Security Council seat hailed
Friday October 18, 2013 10:40 PM, Staff Reporter

Political observers, community leaders, and critics and supporters alike on Friday hailed and praised the Saudi government's decision to reject the United Nations Security Council's non-permanent seat.

Saudi Arabia, elected for the rotating UNSC seat Thursday, declined to accept it accusing the world body of double standard and slamming its handling of the global crisis, especially the Palestinian crisis and Syrian aggression against its own citizens.

"This is not the first time the UNSC has been accused of double standard in dealing with world affairs. Saudi Arabia too has in the past on various occasions criticised the UNSC. But, its refusal to accept the UNSC rotating seat is more than a mere protest or a move to show anger against the world body. It shows a major shift in the foreign policy of this important Arab state, something which has sent a very positive message in the Muslim world at this time of crisis", said Aleem Faizee, chairman of Noble Education & Welfare Society (NEWS).

He said, the Saudi's decision is also a very strong signal to United Nations, and the United States and its allies to mend their ways. "The role of United Nations and of the US and its allies, vis-à-vis Muslim world affairs have always been questionable. But, besides their continued ignorance of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, it was their silence on the crisis in Syria that angered the Muslim world the most", he said.

Hailing the decision by Saudi Arabia to reject the UNSC seat, Ab Rehman al-Masri, a UAE based political observer in response to an email sent by said, "The United Nations nowadays has become a platform to safeguard the interests of selected few. Saudi Arabia has done right by rejecting the UNSC seat. The decision is a welcome change."

Similar views are expressed by Abdullah al-Hamoud, a journalist. "What was this UNSC seat? Toothless, a mere token! The United Nations must bring the reforms if it indeed wants to save its credibility", he said.

Shams Tabrez, a political commentator, hailing the decision agreed with the accusations that the UN resorts to double standard. "The real power in the United Nations rests with the five countries that hold the veto power. In contrast to their proclaimed stand on world affairs, they use the world forum as per their convenience, and for the purpose that serve their interests and agenda", he said.

Saudi Arabia had on Thursday won a seat as a non-permanent member in the U.N. Security Council for the first time. At the UNSC, it was joined by Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria who took seats in an election. The five new non-permanent members were to replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo on the 15-member council on January 1 and for the upcoming two years.

However, the entire process now faces a major crisis as Saudi Arabia has refused to accept the seat. The oil-rich nation which is seen as the leader of the Muslim world, declined to accept the UNSC seat citing "double standards" that made it hard for the world body to end conflict and wars, especially the Syrian and Palestinian crisis.

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