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Saudi Arabia refuses UN security council seat

Updated: 2013-10-18 21:51
( Xinhua)

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia turned down its rotating seat in the United Nations Security Council on Friday, out of its disapproval of the Council's role in addressing Middle East issues, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the kingdom apologizes for not accepting the two-year term on the Security Council until the Council is reformed and enabled, effectively and practically, to carry out its duties and responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security.

The Security Council has failed to address the Syrian crisis and the Palestinian cause, as well as failed to make the Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction, said the Saudi statement.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly elected Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to a two-year term in the Security Council.

According to the UN Charter, the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected by the General Assembly, with five elected in October each year. The remaining five seats belong to the veto-wielding permanent members, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.