Saudi Arabia Snubs UN by Declining Security Council Membership

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By Vasudevan Sridharan | October 18, 2013 8:52 PM EST

Saudi Arabia turns down UNSC membership - (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia declined to accept a two-year rotating membership in the UN Security Council, saying the top world body has failed to resolve international conflicts.

The snub came a day after the Kingdom was elected unopposed to the Council to represent the Asia-Pacific region.

"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 Arabia's foreign ministry said in a statement, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Nigeria, Chad, Chile and Lithuania were also elected for the rotating membership of the 15-member body.

The conservative Gulf kingdom was set to take over the Council seat from outgoing Pakistan.

Shortly after the election, rights groups had expressed concern about Saudi Arabia's selection, citing the poor human rights track record of the country.

"Saudi Arabia and Chad have abysmal records on human rights. Repressive regimes crave this undue and false legitimacy," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, according to Los Angeles Times.

Saudi Arabia has been lobbying for a military intervention in Syria and it is one of the key backers of the rebels fighting against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

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