UN Security Council
UN Security Council Reuters

Israel on Friday withdrew from a race against Germany and Belgium for two seats on the United Nations Security Council in 2019/2020.

“After consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the State of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council,” Israel’s UN mission said in a statement.

“It was decided that we will continue to act with our allies to allow for Israel to realize its right for full participation and inclusion in decision-making processes at the UN. This includes the Security Council as well as an emphasis on areas related to development and innovation,” it added.

A UN source told Reuters earlier that Israel’s decision to withdraw was due to its low chances of winning.

The 193-member UN General Assembly is due to vote next month on five new members for a two-year term starting on January 1, 2019. Israel, Germany and Belgium were competing for two seats allocated to the Western European and others regional group.

Israel had been quietly working behind the scenes for more than a year in an effort to win a seat on the 15-nation council in the June vote. Arab states had sought to block Israel’s bid for a Security Council seat.

In March, Germany rejected claims that it violated a supposed decades-old agreement to let Israel run unopposed for a seat on the Security Council, after pro-Israel activists in the United States accused Berlin of not honoring an agreement struck almost 20 years ago when the Jewish state joined the Western European and Others (WEOG) regional group at the UN.

"It's always been the case in the past that there are different candidacies," said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, adding, "We do not run against anyone. We are running for a seat at the Security Council.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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