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Syria Elected to UN Security Council for 2 Years, Gets Smallest Vote of 5 Candidates

Syria, one of Israel’s bitterest enemies was elected today for a two-year period as one of five non-permanent representatives of the Security Council. It was the candidate of the Asian bloc in the General Assembly and will take the seat vacated by Pakistan on Jan. 1.

A quiet campaign conducted by Israel to reduce the vote apparently bore some fruit because Syria emerged fifth in a field of five principal candidates for seats on the 15-member body which is charged with maintaining international peace and security.

Poland was given 121 votes; Burundi 118; Sierra Leone, 117; Nicaragua, 103; and Syria 101. The voting was conducted in secret and there were no abstentions recorded. Many other nations received a scattering of votes but none reached the 84 necessary for election.

The seats are allocated according to “geographical representation.” Syria was given the Asian nations’ endorsement, and under an agreement under which member states operate, the rest of the UN members accepted the selection. Poland replaces Hungary in the Eastern European seat; Nicaragua succeeds Paraguay; Burundi succeeds Senegal; and Sierra Leone replaces Algeria. In the last case, the pro-Arab balance is reduced by one. There are now five Council members who do not have diplomatic relations with Israel: Russia, Poland, Spain, China and Syria.

The other members of the Council for 1970 will be Spain, Finland, Colombia, Nepal and Zambia, whose terms expire at the end of 1970. Permanent members, all of whom have the veto, are the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

Despite its apparent inability to block the election of Syria, Israel has been campaigning to reduce the vote to demonstrate to the world community that many delegations were disturbed by Syria’s continued illegal detention of two Israelis whose TWA jetliner had been hijacked to Damascus Aug. 29.

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