UNITED NATIONS - Jordan is set to replace Saudi Arabia on the Security Council as a non-permanent member after Saudi Arabia stunned the world by rejecting the seat hours the Arab kingdom was elected, according to a UN diplomat.

The diplomat, who declined to be named, said Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein had flown to Amman to discuss his country’s new role on the U.N.’s most powerful body.

Earlier this week, Jordan dropped its bid for a seat on the Geneva-based U.N.

Human Rights Council, leaving Saudi Arabia a clear path in the now uncontested election next Tuesday.

The U.N. General Assembly, which voted on Oct. 17 to give Saudi Arabia the seat traditionally reserved for an Arab nation on the council, will have to formally approve Jordan as a replacement. Since Jordan is almost certain to be the only candidate, its election is virtually assured.

In declining the Security Council seat, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry issued a scathing attack on the 15-member body’s failures in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador, Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, called on Friday for “profound and comprehensive” reform of the UN Security Council that includes expanding its membership and “abandoning the veto system or restricting its use.” “The Security Council has failed to address the situation in the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, an issue under consideration by the council for more than six decades,” Al-Mouallimi told a General Assembly debate on Security Council reform. “The Syrian crisis continues, with a regime bent on suppressing the will of its people by brutal force, killing and displacing millions of people under the watch and sight of a council paralyzed by the abuse of the veto system,” he said.

Syrian ally Russia, backed by China, has vetoed three council resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and threatened it with sanctions.

Saudi Arabia has threatened a rift with the United States in part over what it sees as Washington’s failure to take action against President Assad and its policies on Iran.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Monday and praised the US alliance with Saudi Arabia as strategic and enduring, but strains in the nearly 70-year-old relationship were apparent.