KING ABDULLAH URGES ‘MODERATION, TOLERANCE’ IN HAJ ADDRESS
RIYADH, Oct 18– An angry Saudi Arabia turned down its rotating seat in the United Nations Security Council on Friday, out of its disapproval of the council’s role in addressing Middle East issues.
According to the Saudi Press Agency,the Kingdom has excused itselffrom accepting the two-year term on the Security Council until the council is “reformed and enabled, effectively and practically, to carry out its duties and responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security,” the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.
The Security Council has failed to address the Syrian crisis, the Palestinian issues, and failed to make the Middle East region free of mass destruction weapons, reports Xinhua citing the statement.
The UN General Assembly elected on Thursday Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia for a two-year term on the Security Council.
According to the UN Charter, the 10 non-permanent members of the council are elected by the General Assembly. Of these, five are elected in October each year.
The remaining five seats belong to the veto-wielding permanent members, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the US.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.
King urges moderation, tolerance
Earlier in his annual Haj message, Saudi King and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Abdullah bin Abdulazizurged Muslims to stand together and be tolerant with each other and the rest of the world.However, he also warned that the Ummah would not allow others to interfere in their affairs, undermine their security and disrespect Islam.
Crown Prince Salman delivered the King’s speech at the annual reception for leaders of Islamic countries, dignitaries, guest pilgrims of the king and heads of Haj missions at Mina Palace on Wednesday.
King Abdullah urged Muslims to unify and deal with others “with a forgiving humanity that does not reject others just because they believe in different religions.”
He said Muslims should honor agreements based on Islam’s values, ethics and principles. “What we disagree on, the decisive words (on this) is stated in the Holy Qur’an: ‘To you be your way, and to me mine.’”
King Abdullah said Muslims around the world “share the same worries and hopes” and would only be successful by “holding tight to our belief.”
He said Islam encourages Muslims to try to understand and engage in dialogue with others. It is a religion of “moderation, clarity and forgiveness” that respects the “freedom of religions, cultures and beliefs.”
The king urged Muslims to seek agreement on issues. “If this is our method in dealing with non-Muslims, then it is a must for all of us to discard disagreements and conflicts among Muslims…”
However, the king also urged others to respect Islam and Muslims.“From the prophetic land, cradle of revelation, we say to the world that we are an Ummah that does not bargain with our religion, ethics and values and does not allow anyone to interfere in our internal or external issues.”
“It should be clear to the whole world that we respect them and value their humanitarian contribution throughout history, but there would be no option left (but to take action) against whoever tries to manipulate us with their narrow views or interests.”–Agencies