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Israel withdraws from the race for a seat on the Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (OBSERVATORY) –┬áIsrael withdrew from competition with Germany and Belgium on two seats in the UN Security Council for the years 2019-2020 on Friday.

The 193-member UN General Assembly is due to vote next month to select five new members for a two-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2019.

Israel, Germany and Belgium were competing for two seats allocated to Western Europe and others.

Germany and Belgium are unbeaten but need more than two-thirds of the total votes of the General Assembly to win the seat.

“We have decided to continue to move with our allies so that Israel can get its right to full participation and bring it to the decision-making process of the United Nations,” the UN mission said in a statement.

An international source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel had withdrawn because of its weak chances of winning.

In general, regional groups agree on candidates to be nominated and competitive races for seats are rare. Each year, the General Assembly elects five new members.

In March, Richard Grenell, sworn in as US ambassador to Germany on Thursday, said the United States brokered an agreement in the 1990s with the Western European and other UN group to allow Israel to take a seat without competition.

On March 14, Greenell, who was the United States spokesman at the United Nations from 2001 to 2009, said in a tweet on Twitter: “Israel has waited 19 years! The United States must demand that Europe fulfill its promise. ”

German diplomats have denied any such deal. Israel’s mission at the United Nations declined to comment on Grenil’s tweet.