BERLIN: Germany has said it will stand up for Israel's interests and security if it wins a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
The German foreign ministry said Saturday that Israel's decision to withdraw its candidacy "is a further incentive for us to stand up for the interests and safety of our Israeli friends" if Germany wins a Security Council seat.
Yesterday's withdrawal by Israel virtually guarantees Germany and Belgium victory in the June 8 election and seats on the council.
Israel was in a three-way contest with Germany and Belgium for two seats representing the Western-democratic group of nations on the UN's most powerful body starting in January.
The Security Council has five permanent members and 10 members elected by the 193-member General Assembly for two-year terms.