JEDDAH, Oct 21 — Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Turkish President Abdullah Gul rallied behind Saudi Arabia’s decision to reject a seat on the UN Security Council.
Elaraby said Saudi Arabia was right in objecting to the Security Council’s lopsided functioning. “Arab states, including Palestine and Syria, have been the worst victims of the Security Council’s weakness in the last six decades,” he said.
Elaraby’s remarks come a day after Arab nations urged Saudi Arabia to reverse its decision to reject a seat on the 15-nation Security Council. Arab ambassadors to the UN, however, said it was crucial for Saudi Arabia to represent the Arab and Muslim world on the council “at this important and historical stage, specifically for the Middle East region.”
Saudi Arabia won a prized two-year seat on the Security Council on Thursday, but a day later Riyadh said it would not take it up because of the world body’s double standard on Syria and other Middle East hotspots.
OIC chief Ihsanoglu said Riyadh’s refusal to take its seat would “accelerate the reform process at the Security Council by strengthening its transparency and representativeness.” Ihsanoglu said the OIC has a direct and vital interest in reforming the Security Council and demands a representation in the body that suits their demographic and political weight.
Piling pressure on the UN, Turkey joined Saudi Arabia in lashing out at the United Nations for failing to resolve international crises.
“The United Nations is losing its credibility,” Dogan news agency quoted Gul as telling journalists in Istanbul.
“I understand that Saudi Arabia’s decision aims to draw the international community’s attention to this situation … We must respect their decision,” said Gul.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for a reform of the 15-member Security Council to give Muslim nations more clout. UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan also backed Kingdom’s decision. He said the UAE understood the situation of general frustration that prompted the Kingdom to take this decision, including the inaction of the Security Council on a number of regional, historical and urgent issues.
Bahrain also came out in support of the Saudi decision.
Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa lauded Saudi Arabia’s decision and described it as “historic, bold and one that reflects its desire to assume its historical responsibilities for the sake of preserving regional and global security and stability.”
He said the Saudi stance will motivate the Security Council to assume its responsibilities, “and, therefore, (the decision) should be backed strongly, at all levels.”–Arab News