UNITED NATIONS – Saudi Arabia on Thursday won a U.N. Security Council seat for the first time in a new show of determination to make its voice heard, joining Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria in taking places on the key body. All five ran unopposed in an election by the 193 member U.N. General Assembly. They will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo on the 15-nation council Jan. 1.
The conservative kingdom has several times expressed alarm at what it considers international inaction over Syria. It has been a major backer of the rebels fighting President Bashar Assad. The Saudi government also remains a fierce critic of Israel.