New Delhi: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday thanked the international community including Britain for their support in the re-election of India’s Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Swaraj conveyed India’s gratitude to the foreign governments during a reception for the diplomatic community which was also attended by justice Bhandari. “A historic moment for India. EAM @SushmaSwaraj addressed the diplomatic corps in New Delhi, she conveyed gratitude to the international diplomatic community for their support for election of Justice Dalveer Bhandari to ICJ," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

In her address, Swaraj particularly mentioned Britain for withdrawing its candidate during the contest which paved the way for Bhandari’s re-election, sources said. The external affairs ministry had invited all the foreign missions here for the meeting and a large number of diplomats, including British high commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith, attended it, they said.

The event was attended by the top brass of the external affairs ministry including minister of state V.K. Singh and foreign secretary S. Jaishankar.

Bhandari was on Tuesday re-elected to the ICJ as the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly threw its weight behind him, forcing Britain to withdraw its candidate from the hard- fought race to the world court. Bhandari and the 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.

Bhandari, 70, received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the ICJ after separate but simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

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