05:23 GMT +322 August 2018
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    Israel Drops Out of Race for UN Security Council Seat

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Israel has withdrawn its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2019-2020 after consulting its friends and partners, the nation’s mission to the UN said.

    "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," a statement cited by the Haaretz daily said.

    The UN’s 15-nation body comprises five permanent members – Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States – while others are picked for two-year stints. The next vote is in June.

    Israel was competing against Germany and Belgium for one of the two seats in the Western European and Others Group that will be freed by Sweden and the Netherlands.

    Israel's decision to quit comes after the Security Council called in April for an inquiry into the deaths of Palestinians, including two journalists, in clashes with Israeli soldiers on the border with Gaza.

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