USA backs India’s permanent Security Council seat

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 November 2010, 19:47 GMT]
US President Barack Obama Monday unequivocally endorsed India’s bid for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council. Noting that a reformed United Nations is part of the “just and sustainable international order that America seeks”, the US leader also said the Washington-Delhi relationship would be one of this century's defining partnerships, the BBC reported. The other permanent members, including China, have already indicated support for India’s bid.

"Indeed the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday, at the end of a three-day state visit to India.

"And that is why I can say today, in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member."

Earlier in his visit, Mr. Obama paid tribute to India as a world power, saying both countries would work together to promote stability and prosperity.

"As the world's two largest democracies, as large and growing free market economies, as diverse, multi-ethnic societies with strong traditions of pluralism and tolerance, we have not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility to lead."

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Washington and Delhi had decided to "accelerate the deepening of ties to work as equal partners in a strategic relationship".

Hitherto, the United States has been the only permanent member – the others are Britain, France, Russia and China – to not support India’s seat.

Britain’s support for India was expressed by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004.

Speaking at a press conference with Mr. Singh, Mr. Blair said Britain not only backed its bid for a permanent Security Council seat but increased Indian cooperation at the international level.

"Yes, on both points," Mr. Blair told reporters at 10 Downing Street. "India is a country of 1.2 billion people. For India not to be represented on the Security Council is I think something that is not in tune with the modern times in which we live,"

China’s support for India’s bid was first indicated also in a 2004 visit to India by visiting Chinese state councilor Tang Jiaxuan, China's first foreign minister from 1998-2003.

“The Chinese government values India's influence and role in international and regional affairs and is willing to see a greater Indian role in the international arena, the United Nations included," Mr. Tang said.

"China fully understands and endorses your country's interest in playing a bigger role in international affairs [and] we hope to see India playing a larger and constructive role in the Security Council for world peace and development," Mr. Tang said in response to questions by journalists in Delhi.

French support for India was reiterated Monday by France’s military chief Admiral Edouard Guillaud, during his four-day visit to Delhi.

“France supports the reforming of the United Nations to strengthen it. And that is why France supports India for a permanent seat in the UN,” he said.


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