NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador has lashed out at the Security Council and indicated that the Kingdom was standing by its decision to reject the seat it was elected to on the UN body.
He also demanded that the council should uphold its historic, humanitarian and moral responsibilities.
Abdullah bin Yahiya Al-Mua’lemi delivered a scathing attack on the Security Council’s failures to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Syria, and to convene a conference on creating a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction at a day-long council meeting.
It was his first public appearance after Saudi Arabia rejected a council seat just hours after the General Assembly elected the Kingdom to serve a two-year term.
Those were the same three issues that the Saudi Foreign Ministry raised in its strident statement Friday rejecting the Security Council seat.
But Al-Mouallimi’s tough words were in stark contrast to his last public appearance, speaking to reporters after Saudi Arabia’s election to the council on Thursday. Then, he said his government took the election “very seriously” and saw it as “a reflection of a longstanding policy in support of moderation and in support of resolving disputes in peaceful means.”
Arab ambassadors at the UN held an “extraordinary” meeting on Saturday and expressed hope that Saudi Arabia would keep the seat “at this important and historical stage, specifically for the Middle East region … and continue their brave role in defending our issues specifically at the rostrum of the Security Council.”
Al-Mouallimi attacked the council’s failure “to safeguard international peace and security.”
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said: “It is time for your council to demonstrate more effectiveness to address the Palestinian question.”
Al-Mua’lemi accused the Syrian regime of “continuing its campaign of extermination against the Syrian people,” and he accused the council of failing to protect the Syrian people because of the repeated vetoes.
The Saudi ambassador said the council must also prevent Syria from using the resolution requiring the elimination of its chemical weapons and calling for a peace conference “as a delaying tactic.”