UNITED NATIONS : Israel on Friday dropped out of a race for a Security Council seat in 2019 and 2020 following a campaign by Arab states at the United Nations to block the bid.

The decision leaves the path clear to Germany and Belgium to take the two seats available for countries of the Western Europe and Others group when the General Assembly votes next month.

''After consulting our partners, including our good friends, the state of Israel has decided to postpone the candidacy for a seat on the security Council,'' said a statement from the Israeli mission.

It was Israel's first attempt to win a seat at the 15-member council.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad aI Maliki said last month that Arab countries were  ''doing everything possible to convince as many countries as possible to block the vote on Israel's bid for a seat at the Security Council''. [AFP]


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