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The battle between Venezuela and Guatemala for the Latin American seat on the UN Security Council has finally ended. The winner is ... Panama?
Venezuela and Guatemala have withdrawn their rival bids for a UN Security Council seat from Latin America, diplomats have said.
They say the move opens the way for Panama to take the non-permanent seat.
Nearly 50 rounds of voting failed to resolve the contest between Guatemala and Venezuela. ...
"The two foreign ministers have agreed on two issues," said Ecuador's UN ambassador Diego Cordovez, who was a mediator during the talks.
"Both 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" to represent the region, Mr Cordovez said.
Panama seems like a surprise. Some had speculated that Costa Rica might get the nod; Venezuela wanted Bolivia and its new leftist regime, but Guatemala refused. When word of negotiations leaked out, Venezuela denied that it would withdraw from the contest. Apparently, that changed after 47 ballots showed that Hugo Chavez would not get his UNSC seat from which to pester the Bush administration.
The Central American nation has remained on good terms with the United States and should be expected to remain open to American concerns. The Panamanians join a freshman class that does not look as though it will create more problems for the US at the UNSC. The new seats went to Italy, Belgium, South Africa, and Indonesia. The latter, with its increasingly questionable commitment to security, may pose some problems before long. None of them have the potential for the frequently dramatic and ridiculous antics of Hugo Chavez, and for that the US -- and the world -- should be grateful.Sphere It View blog reactions
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