What Makes Samir Run?

U.N. diplomats are abuzz about Saudi Ambassador Samir Shihabi's election as president of the General Assembly. The largely ceremonial post was expected to rotate to an Asian candidate. Where, then, did Shihabi get the fire in the belly? And how did he win so handily? Some officials believe the Saudis launched their candidate in response to a challenge from the delegate from Yemen, who had occasionally supported Saddam Hussein in the Security Council. U.N. sources also suggest that Shihabi's victory was cemented with some well- placed promises to a few impoverished countries. He was evidently so confident of winning that he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!