Qatar Welcomes Saudi Decision to Reject UNSC Seat

The Qatari foreign minister thanks his Saudi counterpart for rejecting a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

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Elad Benari,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council
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The Qatari foreign minister thanked his Saudi counterpart on Sunday for rejecting a seat on the United Nations Security Council, Al Arabiya reported.

The minister blamed the diplomatic body for failing in its responsibility towards the Arab world.

In a message posted on his official Twitter account, Qatari foreign Minister Khalid al-Attiya commended Saudi Prince Saud al-Faisal.

The tweet said, "My brother Prince Saud al-Faisal, your anger confuses the world. Thank you, this is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Al Arabiya reported that the tweet coincided with statements made by an official in Qatar's Foreign Ministry which stressed this his country agrees with the Saudi reasons for rejecting the Security Council seat.

For the first time in its history, Saudi Arabia won a two-year rotating seat on the 15-nation Security Council in a UN General Assembly election on Thursday.

The Saudi government surprised the world when it refused to accept the post a day later.

It accused the Security Council of having “double standards” and of failing to handle the Syrian crisis and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The kingdom is considered to be a major backer of the Syrian opposition and an arch-rival of the Iranian government.

Saudi Arabia’s surprising move is seen by analysts as a tool to press the United States for a stronger stance on Syria and as a protest of Washington’s recent open policy with Tehran.

UN Watch, the Geneva-based NGO, had welcomed Saudi Arabia's refusal to take its seat on the UN Security Council and said it was a “victory for human rights.”

The organization cited Saudi Arabia’s own record of violation of human rights, such as banning women from driving, along with its being the world's largest source of funds for Islamist terrorist groups.

While Qatar has praised the move, other Arab countries have appealed to Saudi Arabia to reverse its decision.

Arab UN ambassadors made the appeal after an emergency meeting on Saudi Arabia's surprise announcement, saying that Saudi Arabia's 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.”

The statement expressed “respect and understanding” for the Saudi position.

It added, however, that 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.”