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Venezuela says looking for way out of UN seat impasse

Written by: Staff

CARACAS, Venezuela, Oct 25 (Reuters) Venezuela's ambassador to the United Nations told Reuters the South American nation was looking for a way to resolve an impasse with Guatemala in a contest for a UN Security Council seat.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said during a visit to the city of El Alto, near La Paz, that Venezuela had already decided to withdraw from the competition and make way for Bolivia to be a candidate.

But the ambassador downplayed those remarks, saying such a scenario was just one possible solution.

''There are several solutions. One of them is the one President Evo Morales is mentioning. Probably there will be other solutions,'' Ambassador Francisco Arias Cardenas said in a telephone interview yesterday. ''But we are exploring solutions, we are exploring ways out.'' Venezuela failed in 35 rounds of voting last week to gain more votes than Guatemala for one of Latin America's two-year rotating seats on the powerful council.

Guatemala won more votes but did not gain the two-thirds majority among UN members to win the seat either.

President Hugo Chavez, who says the contest is between Venezuela and the United States because of its backing for its tiny Central American rival, has so far refused to withdraw.

But Morales said his ally Chavez called him earlier on Tuesday to say Venezuela could not win and would make way for his country to compete for the seat.

Reuters PDS VP0550

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