Saudi Arabia cancels UN speech for first time in history, frustrated with UN actions in Arab world

Published October 2nd, 2013 - 05:45 GMT
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal was scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday (Courtesy of Al Arabiya)
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal was scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday (Courtesy of Al Arabiya)

Saudi Arabia has decided to cancel its speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Abdullah Bin Yahya Al Mouallami, the Saudi permanent ambassador to the UN, said that delivering a speech was an option for states and not an obligation, local Arabic daily Al Riyadh reported on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal was scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday.

According to reports from New York, the Saudi UN mission in the past handed out copies of the speech if it was not delivered, but opted this year not to have a speech in any form.

Diplomatic sources at the UN said that the Saudi decision reflected the kingdom’s dissatisfaction with the positions of the international organisation on Arab and Islamic issues, particularly the issue of Palestine that the UN has not been able to solve in more than 60 years, as well as the Syrian crisis and the suffering of its people subjected for nearly three years to killing and destruction, the Saudi daily said.

In his speech to the UN on September 29, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE foreign minister, said that his country was “deeply disappointed in the inability of the international community until now to put an immediate end to the worsening tragedy suffered by the Syrian people caused by military actions and indiscriminate and systematic bombings by Syrian forces which have killed so far more than 100,000 people and injured and displaced millions of people, being to date the most serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law”.

“We are deeply concerned about the growing serious implications of this conflict on Syria and the entire region, and we strongly condemn and reject all crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian regime, especially the chemical attack against Ghota, Damascus, which killed thousands of civilians and children,” Shaikh Abdullah said.

The international community should take all necessary measures to punish the Syrian regime for its massacres against its civilians, he said.

“All of you must be aware of the frustration we feel and the majority of countries in the region feel regarding the disabling of the United Nations mechanisms from acting against the aggressive acts of the Syrian regime against its people. The failure to act by international organisations is directly responsible for the aggravating humanitarian tragedy we witness in Syria and for the threat against the Syrian State, community and people,” he said.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, in his UN speech on September 29“invited the United Nations and the international community to shoulder their responsibilities by taking the appropriate deterrent measures to halt the serious violations of human rights to which the Syrian people are subjected and to put an end to the crime of genocide perpetrated by all kinds of lethal weapons that have so far claimed more than a 100,000 martyrs and injured, as well as causing millions of refugees and internally displaced persons”.

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