Panama set for contested UN seat

Guatemala and Venezuela are to withdraw from their bitter contest to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to make way for Panama, officials say.

    Chavez accused the US of "crude blackmail" over the UN seat

    Diego Cordovez, Ecuador's UN ambassador, made the announcement on Wednesday after talks between Gert Rosenthal, the Guatemalan foreign minister, and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro at Ecuador's UN mission.

    The choice of Panama as a compromise candidate now has to be endorsed by the UN Latin American and Caribbean Group and the UN general assembly.

    "The two foreign ministers have agreed on two issues - [first] bot

    h will withdraw their candidacy to the Security Council, and, second, Panama will be the country that the three of us will present to the [Latin American] group," Cordovez said.

     

    Bitter contest

     

    Guatemala, backed by the US, has won all but one rounds of voting in the UN's general assembly over the past three weeks in the fight for the council seat being vacated by Argentina at the end of the year.

     

    However it had failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority needed to win one of the 10 rotating council seats for Latin America.

     

    The row over the council seat had become the latest issue in increasingly fraught relations between Venezuela and the US.

     

    The US had accused Venezuela of being too confrontational over the seat, while Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, attacked the US for its "crude blackmail" of other nations in a bid to secure the seat for Guatemala.

     

    The 15-member council also has five veto-wielding permanent  members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.