The Obama administration said its cooperation with Saudi Arabia will continue despite the kingdom’s rejection of a coveted seat on the UN Security Council.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Saudi Arabia’s decision was its own. He said the two countries disagree on some issues but that the working relationship with Saudi Arabia will continue, including on such issues as Syria, Iran and the Middle East peace process.
In an unprecedented move last week, Saudi Arabia rejected its first offer of a council seat and denounced the UN for failing to resolve world conflicts.
The move appeared largely directed at its longtime ally, the United States. The two countries are at odds over a number of Mideast issues, including how Washington has handled recent crises in Egypt and Syria.
Saudi lashes out at UNSC
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s U.N. ambassador lashed out at the Security Council and indicated that his country is standing by its decision to reject a seat it was elected to on the U.N.’s most powerful body.
Abdallah Al-Mouallimi delivered a scathing attack on the council’s failure to end the Israeli-Palestinian and Syria conflicts and to convene a conference on creating a nuclear free zone in the West Asia at a meeting Tuesday on Mideast issues.
It was his first public appearance following the government’s stunning about-face on Friday when it rejected a council seat hours after the General Assembly elected Saudi Arabia to serve a two-year term.
Mr. Al-Mouallimi referred reporters asking whether the government would send an official letter to the U.N. rejecting the seat to Friday’s Foreign Ministry statement.