In a move that has left many international affairs experts baffled, Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that it is rejecting a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council -- just one day after being elected to it -- the Slate website reports today (October 19, 2013).
This is believed to be the first time this has ever happened in the nearly 70 years of U.N. history. Indeed, it illustrates the conspicuous lack of faith that Saudi Arabia has in the U.N., due to its failure to maintain peace around the world.
The Saudi government has been increasingly frustrated with the Security Council's response to events in Syria, and in a statement, the country's foreign ministry said that "the manner, the mechanisms of action and double standards existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties and assuming its responsibilities toward preserving international peace and security as required."
The rejection of a Security Council seat by Saudi Arabia comes after public disagreements over its policy toward Syria, Egypt, and Iran, and with the U.S. depending less on Middle East oil. It's also another sign that U.S.--Saudi relations have become less friendly than they have been in many years.