Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia were elected Thursday to seats on the 15-member United Nations Security Council for two-year terms starting in January. It was the first time that Saudi Arabia had sought to gain one of the nonpermanent seats on the Council; its decision to vie for a seat appeared to reflect the kingdom's wish to be more assertive in resolving the Syria war and the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Saudis, who support the rebellion seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, have criticized the Council over what they regard as its insufficient response to the turmoil in the Middle East. Last month the Saudi foreign minister canceled his General Assembly speech, apparently to show the Saudis' displeasure. The new Council members replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times. First Published October 18, 2013 2:01 PM