[QODLink]
Middle East

GCC backs Saudi Arabia rejection of UN seat

Group's head praises Saudi stance, while Qatar backs neighbour's reasons for turning down place on Security Council.

Last Modified: 20 Oct 2013 03:34
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The kingdom's presence was said to be crucial in representing the Arab world [EPA]

The Gulf Co-operation Council has backed Saudi Arabia's rejection of its seat on the UN Security Council, praising the Gulf nation's call for reform.

In a statement released on Saturday, the GCC Secretary General, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, "underlined the importance of Saudi Arabia's call for the realisation of a fundamental reform of the Security Council's system," reported Qatar's state news agency.

In addition, the news agency also reported the Qatari government's support of Saudi Arabia's stance.

"The state of Qatar agrees with the reasons outlined by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to turn down a non-permanent seat on the United Nationsl Security council," QNA reported, quoting an official source from the Foreign Ministry.

Breaking ranks

Meanwhile, other Arab nations appealed to Saudi Arabia to reverse its unprecedented decision to reject the seat.

Arab UN ambassadors made the appeal on Saturday after an emergency meeting following Friday's surprise announcement by the kingdom to decline the seat in a display of anger over the failure of the international community to end the war in Syria. 

Saudi Arabia's leaders should "maintain their membership in the Security Council and continue their brave role in defending our issues specifically at the rostrum of the Security Council," said a statement released by Arab states at the UN. 

It added however that it was crucial for Saudi Arabia to represent the Arab and Muslim world on the council "at this important and historical stage, specifically for the Middle East region."

Many diplomats and analysts have said the Saudi protest was a message to the United States that it wanted a tougher stance on Syria and was angry that Washington had opened contacts with Iran.

The kingdom has been angered by the increasing rapport between Washington and Iran, Saudi Arabia's old regional foe, which has taken root since President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 

The conservative Muslim kingdom has traditionally avoided big political statements, preferring to wield its influence as world's top oil exporter, birthplace of Islam and chief Arab ally of the US behind closed doors.

342

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.