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Indonesia minister feels confident about seat on U.N. Security Council

Indonesia minister feels confident about seat on U.N. Security Council

Indonesia is confident of winning a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, the country's foreign minister said yesterday, as the world's most populous Muslim country pushes for a bigger role on the global stage. Indonesia's active participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions since 1957 and mediation in regional conflicts made it a deserving candidate for the post, Hassan Wirajuda said.
"God willing, chances are certainly big," he told reporters.
The U.N. body has five permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - and 10 non-permanent members. Each year five new members are picked for a two-year term.
Indonesia has previously served two terms on the U.N. Security Council in 1973-1974 and 1995-1996.
"We have lobbied almost all U.N. members to convince them that we deserve the position and we have received support from many countries," he said.
He declined to confirm reports that South Korea had withdrawn from the race as a trade of for Jakarta backing Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon in his bid to replace Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary general.
"It's not that black and white. It's not easy for South Korea to manage candidacies for two important U.N. positions at the same time," he said.
Nepal is now the only other contender for the Security Council job reserved for an Asian nation. The vote is due to be held in October.
Winning a seat on the Security Council would be a diplomatic victory for Indonesia, which has made overtures to play a role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to mediate in the North Korean nuclear standoff.
Indonesia has said it will also send up to 1,000 troops to join a U.N peacekeeping force in Lebanon to police a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hezbollah.
It had initially faced resistance from Israel. Indonesia has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.