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Azerbaijan on UN council after Slovenia drops bid

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October 24, 2011 06:20 PM EST | AP

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UNITED NATIONS — Azerbaijan received the two-thirds support of U.N. member states needed for a Security Council seat Monday after its lead competitor Slovenia dropped out.

Azerbaijan and Slovenia went into a second day of balloting Monday after each failed to get the two-thirds majority needed from the General Assembly for the sole eastern European seat on the U.N.'s most powerful body.

The Slovenian representative announced his country was withdrawing after losing the 17th round to Azerbaijan by a 77-116 vote.

In the final round, Azerbaijan got 155 votes, Slovenia 13 and Hungary 1, with 24 countries abstaining.

Four of the 15-member council's five new members were chosen more easily on Friday: Pakistan, Morocco, Guatemala, and Togo. Their terms will run from Jan. 1 through the end of 2013.

Security Council seats are highly coveted because they give countries a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security.

The new makeup puts Pakistan on the council alongside its regional rival India, which like Colombia, Germany, Portugal and South Africa is serving a two-year term that wraps up at the end of 2012. They'll also serve with the five permanent, veto-wielding members: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States.

The five new members replace Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria.

Because ballots are secret, multiple rounds of votes are common in Security Council elections. In 2007, a runoff between Guatemala and Venezuela went 47 rounds before Panama was finally offered, and accepted, the Latin America candidacy.