- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2013

An angry Saudi Arabia has taken out its frustration at the inability of the international community to foster peace in Syria and at recent wedges with the White House over Middle East goals with an announcement on Friday that it would turn down its seat on the U.N. Security Council.

In an outspoken statement, officials with the kingdom condemned what it characterized as the global body’s double standard policies among various Middle East nations, Reuters reported. One of Saudi Arabia’s oldest enemies is Iran, and the kingdom is especially angered by recent White House reach-outs to the nation to come to friendly terms over nuclear development.

President Obama was the first American president in 30 years to actually speak with the Iranian leader by telephone — something that Saudi officials, who consider America a staunch ally, found tough to stomach.

With that as a backdrop, Saudi has also questioned other White House policies implemented in the Mideast since the Arab Spring. One sharp contrast: Saudi Arabia opposed the entire Arab Spring uprising, while U.S. leaders stood in its support.

In a statement issued Friday, the Foreign Ministry in Saudi said: “Saudi Arabia … is refraining from taking membership of the U.N. Security Council until it has reformed so it can effectively and practically perform its duties and discharge its responsibilities in maintaining international security and peace,” Reuters reported.

The statement is somewhat shocking, given the kingdom’s traditional low-key approach to political statements. Traditionally, Saudi officials let their oil policy do the speaking for their political views.