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India on Tuesday welcomed the re- election of Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and said that the extraordinary support from the UN members was reflective of the respect for India's strong constitutional integrity of the polity.
Hailing Bhandari's re-election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed it as a proud moment and credited External Affairs Ministry Sushma Swaraj and her ministry's officials for their efforts in ensuring his success.
On her part, Swaraj made a special mention of India's Permanent Representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin while hailing her ministry's team.
"Congratulations to Justice Dalveer Bhandari on his re- election as a Judge of the ICJ. Huge efforts by Team - MEA. Syed Akbaruddin, our Permanent Representative in the UN deserves a special mention," she said on Twitter.
In a statement, the MEA said the UN Security Council and the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of India and Judge Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of the 193 votes in the UN General Assembly.
"The extraordinary support from the UN membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and the independence of the judiciary in India," it said.
It may be recalled that the Indian National Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration had re-nominated Judge Dalveer Bhandari as India's national candidate in June 2017, the ministry said.
"India has been supporting the campaign of Judge Bhandari through diplomatic efforts at different fora. The UK decided to withdraw its candidate after a closely fought electoral process. We appreciate the UK decision. We thank all those governments who supported India in this election.
In a series of tweets, the prime minister also expressed gratitude to members of the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council for "their support and trust in India."
"Congratulations to EAM @SushmaSwaraj and her entire team at MEA and diplomatic missions for their untiring efforts that have led to India's re-election to ICJ," Modi tweeted.
Bhandari, 70, and UK's Christopher Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election as the UN could not decide between them after electing four out of five judges to the ICJ.
Terming Bhandari's re-election as a "huge diplomatic win", BJP president Amit Shah said his win is a reflection of a "strong and decisive" leadership.