x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sheikh Abdullah supports Saudi stand on UN seat

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister, said the UN Security Council's inaction on regional issues had "several negative consequences for the security and stability of the region".

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has backed Saudi Arabia's rejection of a seat on the UN Security Council. Reuters / Keith Bedford
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has backed Saudi Arabia's rejection of a seat on the UN Security Council. Reuters / Keith Bedford

The UAE has supported Saudi Arabia’s decision to reject a seat on the UN Security Council, calling it “a judicious and prudent stance”.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday said the kingdom’s decision sought to “establish more fair and effective foundations for the way the UN Security Council deals with regional issues”.

Saudi Arabia said on Friday it was declining the seat because of “double standards” that made it hard for the UN to end conflict and wars.

The Security Council has been divided on how to handle the civil war in Syria, with western powers pushing for stronger sanctions against the government and Russia and China vetoing their resolutions. Saudi Arabia has backed the rebels.

Sheikh Abdullah told state news agency Wam that the UAE understood the frustration that led Saudi Arabia to its decision, including the inaction of the Security Council on urgent regional issues.

“This inaction continues to lead to several negative consequences for the security and stability of the region and the rights and lives of its peoples,” he said.

Sheikh Abdullah said the UN had to “review the council’s role, its powers and charter after its international credibility was impacted as a result of its weak performance”.

Arab League secretary general Nabil Al Arabi also backed the rejection, saying the UN had failed in its responsibility to the Arab world, particularly Syria and Palestine.

His remarks came a day after GCC secretary general Abdullatif Al Zayani threw his support behind the Saudis.

But UN envoys from Arab nations on Saturday urged Saudi Arabia to reverse its decision.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

* Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse