Saudi Arabia refuses seat on UN Security Council in unprecedented move

( In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia has refused to accept its election to a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The flag of Saudi Arabia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

As its reasons for the refusal, Saudi Arabia cited the Security Council’s failure to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, to end the Syrian civil war, and to stop nuclear proliferation in the region, Reuters reported. 

But Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, called the decision “strange” and questioned Saudi Arabia’s reasoning.

The move comes despite Saudi Arabia’s lobbying for a seat on the Security Council for a number of years. But the country has become increasingly frustrated with its long-time ally, the U.S., for its policies on Syria, criticizing Egypt’s military and negotiating with Iran.

Meanwhile, despite the strained relations, the U.S. Department of Defense said it plans a massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates worth $10.8 billion. This will include weapons such as “bunker-buster” bombs and cruise missiles that can hit long-range targets, AFP reported.

Posted on October 18, 2013 .