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Ban Says Saudi Has Not Told U.N. of Rejection of Security Council Seat

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Saudi Arabia has not yet officially notified the United Nations of its decision to reject a U.N. Security Council place, U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

Ban told reporters it would be for U.N. member states to decide how to replace Saudi Arabia, but said "I would like to caution you that I have received no official notification" from the Saudi government.

The Saudi move sparked disarray at the Security Council where it only won the seat on Thursday at a U.N. General Assembly election.

Diplomats said it could be possible to persuade the Saudi government to reverse the decision announced in an outspoken foreign ministry statement.

"Work mechanisms and double-standards on the Security Council prevent it from carrying out its duties and assuming its responsibilities in keeping world peace," the ministry said.

"Therefore, Saudi Arabia... has no other option but to turn down Security Council membership until it is reformed and given the means to accomplish its duties and assume its responsibilities in preserving the world's peace and security," it added.

The government said "allowing the ruling regime in Syria to kill and burn its people" with chemical weapons is "irrefutable evidence and proof of the inability of the Security Council to carry out its duties and responsibilities."

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