Syria withdrew its bid for a spot on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Syria’s withdrawal Wednesday from the Asian group of nations comes as Western nations are working to convince the U.N. Security Council to condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad’s violent campaign to stifle opposition to the Syrian government.
Kuwait was named to replace Syria on the uncontested ballot for the Asian bloc on the 47-member council. The vote will take place May 20. The other nominees from the Asian bloc are India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Syria has called the replacement a trade, saying that it will stand for election to the council in 2013 instead.
Hundreds of Syrians are believed to have been killed and about 8,000 arrested in Assad’s crackdown on opposition protesters.