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Jordan seeks UN Security Council seat | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo of the UN Security Council in September 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

File photo of the UN Security Council in September 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Jordan formally nominated itself as a candidate to take the vacant seat on the UN Security Council on Monday, following Saudi Arabia’s surprise decision to decline a seat on the world body last month.

“Jordan’s decision comes after consultations between King Abdullah II and his brothers in Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of [other] Arab leaders and other world leaders,” Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Joudeh told the Kingdom’s state news agency, Petra.

The announcement follows press speculation in recent weeks that Jordan and Saudi Arabia had reached an agreement that the former would run for the vacant seat on the Security Council, while Saudi Arabia would run for a place on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Saudi Arabia was elected to the Human Rights Council last Tuesday, after Jordan dropped out of the running.

Although Jordan still needs a two-thirds vote of the UN General Assembly to join the Security Council, it is widely-believed that it will be elected with little opposition.

Once elected, Jordan will begin a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council on January 1.

The Security Council has five permanent members with veto powers—the US, UK, France, Russia and China—and ten other non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

Jordanian Minister of Information, Mohammed Al-Momani, told reporters: “The Security Council seat is a prominent international position that will enable Jordan to become an influential player in international decision-making and is an indication of the world’s respect for its moderate policies.”

The seat originally became vacant after Saudi Arabia’s shock announcement on October 17 that it would not take a seat on the Security Council, despite earlier lobbying for votes in the General Assembly, in protest at UN and US policy towards the Syrian Civil War.

Shortly after the decision, reports emerged that Kuwait, a neighboring Gulf monarchy and fellow major oil exporter was the front-runner to take the seat, but this was denied by Kuwaiti foreign ministry officials in early November.