Newscast Media NEW YORK—Saudi Arabia has refused to take its seat as a member of the UN Security Council on the grounds the body is unable to end wars and resolve conflicts. It was chosen to be one of five new non-permanent members on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Friday announcing it had turned down membership of the UN Security Council a day after it was elected as a new non-permanent member. The ministry cited the body’s “double standards” as justification for the move.
“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,” the statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA said. It pointed specifically to the civil war in Syria, in which it is a fervent supporter of rebel forces, and the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“Failing to find a solution to the Palestinian cause for 65 years,” it said, has led to “numerous wars that have threatened world peace.”
Moreover, “allowing the regime in Syria to kill its own people with chemical weapons…without confronting it or imposing any deterrent sanctions … is a proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and assume its responsibilities.”
The ministry also criticized the council’s failure to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear weapons – in reference to Iran and Israel. It said reforms needed to be introduced before it would consider taking its seat, although did not specify changes it felt were necessary.
Despite the lack of a contest, there was disapproval from human rights groups over the appointment of Saudi Arabia as well as Chad and Nigeria.
“The prestige of a seat at the world’s foremost diplomatic table should prompt the new members to get their house in order,” Human Rights Watch’s UN director Philippe Bolopion said Thursday.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media RIYADH—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), apparently pleased with the ouster of the former President Mohamed Morsy, have approved $8 billion in aid to Egypt on Tuesday.
The Saudi funds comprise a $2 billion central bank deposit, $2 billion in energy products, and $1 billion in cash, the Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf told Reuters.
The UAE meanwhile offered $3 billion, including a grant of $1 billion and a $2 billion interest-free deposit in Egypt’s central bank.
The Emirati offer was made during a meeting between a UAE delegation to Cairo, led by UAE National Security Chief Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour.
“The United Arab Emirates stands by Egypt and its people in this crucial phase. It has confidence in the choices made by its people, as well as this people’s ability to overcome the current challenges,” Sheikh Hazza said, according to WAM.
Earlier, a senior Egyptian Petroleum Ministry official said on Tuesday that UAE has sent 30,000 tonnes of diesel to Egypt via Suez.
The diesel shipment is the first in a series the UAE has pledged to Egypt following the 30 June protests that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy from power.
Egypt imports petroleum products worth US$300 million every month, squeezing the country’s foreign currency reserves which dropped to $14 billion by the end of June. The rise of Mohamed Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt since 2011 has unsettled most Gulf Arab states, including the UAE, which feared it would embolden Islamists at home.
“Public finances have been on a downward track since the revolution, and the pace of deterioration has been accelerating,” said Simon Williams of HSBC.
“Access to donor money will buy Egypt time, but it will not address the underlying problem which requires a recovery in growth to boost revenues and curbs on subsidies and salaries to slow spending.”
Source: Al-Masry Al Youm/Egypt Independent