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Saudi Arabia rejects Security Council seat over inaction and 'double standards'

Saudi officials said that the Council was unable to keep the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.

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Saudi Arabia has refused to take a rotating seat on the UN Security Council due to Syrian concerns. (DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the UN Secuity Council elected Saudi Arabia to serve as a non-permanent member for the first time in the country's history during the 2014-2015 term.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry released a statement saying it had turned down the coveted membership.

The reason? It does not see the Council as an effective body, particularly with regards to the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The kingdom sees that the method and work mechanism and the double standards in the Security Council prevent it from properly shouldering its responsibilities towards world peace," Saudi foreign ministry explained in a statement.

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"Allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill its people and burn them with chemical weapons in front of the entire world and without any deterrent or punishment is clear proof and evidence of the UN Security Council's inability to perform its duties and shoulder its responsibilities,'' a statement on Friday read.

Saudi Arabia also mentioned Israel/Palestine as an example of these double standards.

Saudi officials said that the Council was unable to keep the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, for instance Israeli nuclear missiles or Syrian chemical weapons.

Saudi Arabia has been critical of a US-Russia deal reached this month to destroy Syria's chemical weapons.

The Gulf state has been a major power behind the movement to topple Syria's president, funding and supporting rebel movements in the country.

The process of the destroying those arms is already underway by inspectors in Syria.

Chad and Nigeria were also given rotating seats on the Council this week.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/saudi-arabia/131018/saudi-arabia-rejects-security-council-seat-ove