Saudi Arabia elected to UN Security Council
United Nations, October 18, 2013
Saudi Arabia, Chad and Nigeria were elected by the UN General Assembly on Thursday to serve a two-year term on the UN Security Council.
Chile and Lithuania also won seats on the 15-member council. There are five veto-wielding permanent council members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - and 10 temporary members without veto power.
The group elected on Thursday will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Morocco and Togo on the Security Council on January 1, 2014. They were unopposed, but had to obtain approval from two-thirds of the 193-member General Assembly.
Of the 191 UN members who voted, Lithuania won 187 votes, Chile and Nigeria each picked up 186 votes, Chad secured 184 votes and Saudi Arabia 176 votes.
A senior Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, welcomed the election of a key Middle East country as the world attempts to bring to an end a 2-1/2-year-old civil war in Syria that has killed more than 100,000.
"Our election today is a reflection of a long-standing policy in support of moderation and in support of resolving disputes in peaceful means," said Saudi Arabia's UN ambassador Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, after the vote.
Al-Mouallimi told reporters that Saudi Arabia supported the Syrian struggle for "freedom and prosperity and unity." "We look forward to working with the rest of the international community to help our Syrian brothers achieve their objectives," he said. -Reuters