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Saudi Arabia Turns Down UN Security Council Spot

Saudi Arabia has turned down a spot on the United Nations Security Council because of what it called double standards that are hampering the body's effectiveness.

The Saudi foreign ministry said Friday that it would not join the 15-member Security Council until unspecified reforms were undertaken to allow it to "preserve the world's peace and security."

Saudi Arabia has blasted the council in the past for failing to pass resolutions that would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his role in a bloody, two-and-a-half-year civil war.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the council, have vetoed such resolutions three times.

The United States, Britain and France make up the council's other permanent members, which can exercise veto power over any substantive resolution. The other members are elected for two-year terms by the U.N. General Assembly.

Saudi Arabia has supported the rebels who are fighting against Mr. Assad.

The foreign ministry statement said the council's inaction has allowed the Syrian leader to kill his own people. The ministry also cited the body's inability to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict as evidence of its ineffectiveness.



Some countries have expressed opposition to the five permanent members' veto power, saying this allows resolutions to be halted even if they are supported by a large amount of the international community.

Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria were also elected Thursday to serve on the Security Council starting in January.

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