Arab nations urge Saudi Arabia to rethink UNSC seat

United Nations, Oct 20 (IANS) The Arab Group at the United Nations has appealed to Saudi Arabia to reconsider its unprecedented refusal to sit as an elected member of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Saudi Arabian leaders should "maintain their membership in the Security Council and continue their brave role in defending our issues specifically at the rostrum of the Security Council", reported Xinhua citing the Arab Group in a statement.

Riyadh stunned the international community Friday in announcing that it was rejecting the two-year rotating seat on the Security Council it had campaigned for and was elected to in a UN General Assembly election Thursday.

The Arab envoys have expressed "understanding and respect for the position of the brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," paying respect to Riyadh for representing "the Arab and Islamic world at this important and historical stage, specifically for the Middle East region," according to the brief statement.

It was only Friday that Saudi foreign ministry announced it was "refraining from taking membership of the UN Security Council until it has reformed so it can effectively and practically perform its duties and discharge its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace".

The announcement even caught off guard the Saudi Arabian Mission to the UN.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has lauded Saudi Arabia's call to reform the UNSC to enable it to effectively and practically carry out its duties.

In a statement, Abdul Latif Bin Rushid Al Zayani, secretary general of the GCC, stressed on the importance of the call to achieve a fundamental reform in the system of the UNSC in a way to support the council.

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