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Jordan elected to take seat on UN Security Council - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at U.N. Headquarters (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

File photo of the UN Security Council in session. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

United Nations,Reuters—The 193-member UN General Assembly elected Jordan to the UN Security Council on Friday to replace Saudi Arabia, which rejected its two-year term in protest at the council’s failure to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues.

Saudi Arabia was elected in October to join the 15-member council from January 1, but in an unprecedented move Riyadh declined the role a day after the vote. While unopposed as the replacement, Jordan still needed two-thirds approval by the General Assembly. It was elected with 178 votes on Friday.

“We are extremely honored,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters after the vote, adding that the election “recognizes the role of Jordanian diplomacy worldwide.”

Jordan emerged last month as the alternative candidate for the traditional Arab seat after Amman dropped out of a race against Riyadh for a three-year UN Human Rights Council seat. Saudi won the position on the top UN rights body on November 12.

A week later Jordan, which closely follows regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia on most foreign policy issues, announced its plan to run for the Security Council, with officials saying it wanted to raise its international profile and win more recognition for accommodating Syrian refugees.

The United States, Russia, China, France and Britain are permanent veto-wielding members of the UN. Security Council.

Jordan is now home to more than 600,000 refugees from the 2-1/2 year civil war in neighboring Syria, according to UN estimates, though Amman puts the figure as high as one million.

The refugees are posing a huge strain on the kingdom’s infrastructure and resources.

Jordan will now join Lithuania, Chile, Nigeria and Chad as new members of the council, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo. The other five temporary council members that will remain next year are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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