Saudi Arabia declines Security Council seat, citing failure to tackle conflict


DUBAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Friday it wasdeclining its United Nations Security Council rotating seat,citing "double standards" that made it hard for the world bodyto end conflict and wars. "The kingdom sees that the method and work mechanism and thedouble standards in the Security Council prevent it fromproperly shouldering its responsibilities towards world peace,"the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state newsagency SPA.

It said it was unable to take its seat until reforms wereintroduced, but did not specify what reforms it wanted.

The Security Council has been divided on how to handle thecivil war in Syria, with Western powers pushing for strongersanctions against President Bashar al-Assad and Russia vetoingresolutions to that end. Saudi Arabia has been backing rebels inthat conflict.

The United States, Britain, France, Russia and China arepermanent members of the Security Council and hold veto powers.Other states are brought onto the body on a rotating basis.

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