Gulf | Kuwait

Kuwait denies taking UN Security Council seat

Arab League, GCC back Saudi decision to reject UN council membership

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:04 October 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Kuwaiti diplomats have denied media reports that Kuwait would supplant Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Security Council.

Riyadh last week said that it rejected its rotating Security Council seat hours after winning it, saying that the council was incapable of ending wars and resolving conflicts in the Middle East.

Reports said that Kuwait was next on the list of Asian countries to take the two-year membership on January 1.

However, Kuwaiti daily Al Kuwaitya on Sunday reported that “diplomatic sources denied the claims that Kuwait had accepted to take the Security Council seat.”

The daily did not identify the sources.

The Saudi position was backed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), an alliance that brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement released on Saturday, the GCC “commended the call by Saudi Arabia for reforming the Security Council and empowering it to effectively and practically to carry out its duties and to assume its responsibilities towards maintaining international peace and security, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

GCC Secretary General Abdul Lateef Al Zayani stressed “the significance of the Saudi call to achieve fundamental reforms in the Security Council that will support its role as a United Nations body responsible for all the consequences of the main issues of global peace and security, particularly that our world today is in dire need of the role and international legitimacy of the Security Council amid political and security turmoil.”

Al Zayani attributed the Saudi decision to turn down the rotating seat to the ineptitude of the Security Council to carry out its duties to render its responsibilities, particularly towards Arab issues.

“The rejection is based on Saudi Arabia’s keenness on regional stability and its historic interest in Arab issues and concerns and as well as in international matters and global stability,” he said.

“The position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reflects its commitment to international legitimacy and a sincere desire to activate the role of the Security Council and the various organs and institutions of the United Nations in order to respond to global calls in this regard, and make the world more cooperative, stable and secure,” Al Zayani said.

Arab League Secretary General Nabeel Al Arabi said that he backed the Saudi position and expressed hope that it would “stimulate the efforts that have been exerted for years to reform and enhance the Security Council.”

“We do stress the significance of the Saudi statement on the inaptitude of the Security Council to solve several vital issues, such as the Palestinian issue, to put an end to the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and to rid the Middle East of the weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

“The Security Council needs a comprehensive reform that includes determining the scope of the use or the threat to use the veto by its five permanent members,” he said.

In Doha, Khalid Al Attiya, the Qatari foreign minister, reportedly expressed his support in a tweet to his Saudi counterpart.

“My dear brother Prince Saud Al Faisal: When you get upset, you confuse the world. Thank you,” he posted on the microblog.

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