RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s frustration at international inaction over Syria and the Palestinians led it to cancel its speech at the UN General Assembly for the first time this week, a diplomatic source said.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal had been scheduled to address the assembly on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Saudi decision... reflects its dissatisfaction with the position of the UN 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,” said the source.
It has repeatedly called on the international community to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels and has said Bashar Al Assad must be toppled because his forces have bombarded civilian areas.
Saudi Arabia had hoped that a chemical weapons attack on the edge of Damascus in August would lead its allies, including the US, to bomb forces loyal to Assad, diplomats in the Gulf say.
When Washington instead agreed to a Russian plan to avert military strikes by dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons, Saudi Arabia said the move did not address the broader issue of civilian deaths in the war.
Riyadh supports Palestinian independence and does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. In 2001 it pushed the idea of an Arab-Israeli peace plan in which Arab states would make peace with Israel if it retreated to pre-1967 borders. Reuters