India hopeful for place in UN Security Council, says Meera Shankar

Washington D.C., Oct.30 (ANI): India's Ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, in an exclusive interview to Asian News International, on Friday said that India is hopeful of securing permanent membership to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

Shankar said that support for India's bid for membership has been growing in several nations.

"We have been discussing this issue with the United States, and clearly, there is growing support for reforming the institutions of global governance in ways which make them more representative, and also more reflective of current realities. We are hopeful that there will be an advance in the US position," said Shankar.

Shankar also spoke about Afghanistan and its importance for both India and the U.S.

"You know, we will discuss a range of regional and global issues and Afghanistan is clearly an area of common concern. We in India share the objective of helping Afghanistan to be stable, peaceful, united, moderate and independent country. And this is an objective which both the United States and India share, so certainly it will be on the agenda," she said.

Shankar also said the U.S. Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, had noted that the ongoing violence and other issues in Kashmir is an internal matter and would be looked after by India itself.

"I don't know if you've seen what the U. S. Ambassador in India said. He said that this (Kashmir issue) is for India to handle as an internal issue, and when they feel ready to discuss this, they will do it bilaterally at a space and scope that they are comfortable with. So, clearly, the U.S. itself has ruled out a role for itself on this issue," said Shankar.

Shankar termed the nuclear deal between India and U.S as a special issue for both countries, ahead of President Obama's visit to India.

Shankar said the deal opens doors for cooperation between both countries.

"I think the nuclear deal, you know, is a very special issue because it removed a factor which had constrained our relationship in the past. And open the way to our cooperation in civil nuclear energy, energy security climate change and non-proliferation," said Shankar.

"Of course, the relationship is more than one issue and so what we are seeking to do is to build a broad-based strategic partnership, which will have relevance for the challenges that we face in the 21st century," she said.

Shankar also maintained that Obama's visit to India would be a landmark visit as both sides hope to discuss several issues.

"I think it will be a landmark visit, and there are many areas on which we hope to see progress. We are discussing the issue of recalibration of U.S. export controls. Our talks have made significant progress, and we are hopeful, that this would be an area where we will have something significant during the visit," said Shankar

"Similarly, there are a range of other agreements which are likely to be concluded in fields as different as clean energy research, or health, or climate prediction, or weather prediction for agriculture," she added.

She also spoke about the trade issue and said that the trade relationship has grown over the years. (ANI)

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