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Jordan’s Security Council election set for Dec. 6

November 21, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly has scheduled an election Dec. 6 to choose Jordan for a two-year Security Council term, replacing Saudi Arabia, which refused to accept the seat it won in November and denounced the council’s inability to resolve the Syrian civil war.

Jordan emerged among the Asian and Middle East nations as the preferred replacement candidate, and is widely expected to win the Security Council term in this unprecedented election. No other nations have said they would contest the balloting.

In an apparent swap of seats, Jordan dropped out of a crowded list of candidates for a seat on the Human Rights Council two weeks ago, leaving Saudi Arabia an uncontested path to win a place on the U.N.’s top human rights body.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry says the kingdom has presented a request to the United Nations seeking the Security Council seat. According to the Jordanian ministry statement Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh telephoned U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon late Sunday after sending Jordan’s “official request” in writing. Since joining the world body in 1955, Jordan has held the seat twice before.

Saudi Arabia stunned the diplomatic world with the unprecedented announcement that it was rejecting the Security Council seat, less than 24 hours after it was elected on Oct. 17.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry accused the Security Council of failing to end the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and to convene a conference on creating a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction. Saudi Arabia was also piqued about the warming U.S.-Iran relationship, seeing Tehran as its main rival in the region.

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