(AGI) New York, June 29 - Italy and the Netherlands agreed to split their two-year term on the UN Security Council after a tie in the voting forced them to reach a compromise. Italy will serve on the council in 2017 and the Netherlands will follow in 2018. The compromise was reached in New York with the approval from Brussels of Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte. The other countries elected to serve on the Council for the next biennium are Bolivia, Ethiopia, Sweden and Kazakhstan. The agreement is "a message of unity" to the EU, said Italian Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, adding that the solution has received a "very positive" response and that it "demonstrates Italy's flexibility and diplomatic intelligence." After five consecutive votes at the UN Headquarters in New York, neither Italy nor the Netherlands had managed to get the necessary minimum of 128 votes. After the fifth ballot ended tied 95 to 95, the two countries agreed to share the seat. Italy's term will start on January 1, 2017 and will end one year later. Dutch FM Bert Koenders commented that the close ballot was "a clear signal of appreciation for both countries." (AGI) . .