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Jordan's U.N. ambassador drops out of race for next U.N. secretary-general

Jordan's U.N. ambassador drops out of race for next U.N. secretary-general

Jordan's U.N. ambassador dropped out of the race to be the next U.N. secretary-general after an informal poll gave South Korea's foreign minister near-certain victory in the contest to succeed Kofi Annan and sparked a diplomatic row between Jordan and Qatar.
Prince Zeid al-Hussein, who came last in the straw poll, said in a letter to the Security Council president circulated Wednesday that Jordan was withdrawing his candidacy.
Zeid offered "warmest congratulations" to South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, saying "his considerable diplomatic skill and distinguished background augurs brightly for the future of the United Nations."
Zeid's poor showing sparked a rift between Jordan and Qatar, the only Arab nation on the council. Jordan recalled its ambassador to Qatar, saying the Doha government "broke ranks" with the Arabs last week when it voted for Ban instead of Zeid, two Jordanian officials said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In an informal ballot of the 15 Security Council nations on Monday, Ban won 14 favorable votes and one expressing no opinion. Most importantly, he won the support of the council's five veto-wielding nations _ Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
The council has scheduled a formal vote on Monday. Its recommendation of a candidate to succeed Annan, whose second five-year term expires on Dec. 31, must be approved by the 192-member General Assembly.
Immediately after the latest straw poll, U.N. Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor of India, who came second, announced he was dropping out of the race because Ban was the obvious winner.
That leaves three other candidates still in contention _ Latvia's President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.
A seventh candidate, Sri Lanka's Jayantha Dhanapala, a former U.N. disarmament chief, withdrew after a poor showing in the third informal poll last week.


Updated : 2021-04-20 15:44 GMT+08:00