American support for India at UNSC was unequivocal, says official

New Delhi, Nov 9 (ANI): Dispelling the notion that American support to India's role in a reformed United Nations Security Council is more symbolic than substantive, a senior government official said here today that America has given its unequivocal support to an Indian role in the UNSC.

The U.S. President, Barack Obama, in his address to the Joint Session of the Indian Parliament on Monday had said: "I can say today-in years ahead, I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member."

He also said: "The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate," as he gave a call for India to be part of a reformed UN Security Council (UNSC).

However, barely a day after the President Obama's statement, a US State Department spokesman tried to put the statement in 'perspective' stating: "there was no real timeframe for the U.N. reform schedule."

He said, "We are not able to dictate the terms of reform. This is the Security Council. There are five permanent members, and so this will be a requirement for us to continue to consult within the U.N. and within the Security Council on an appropriate way forward."

China is the only member of the five permanent members of the UNSC that has not yet endorsed India. But today, even China issued a guarded statement encouraging India's candidature without an outright endorsement.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "China values the role India plays in international affairs, and China understands and supports India's willingness to play a bigger role at the UN."

The Indian response to the Chinese Foreign Ministry's statement was guarded, as the Indian official said: "I think it is a positive statement. They have said in the past, they understand the desire expressed by India for greater representation."

Deviating from his prepared text on Monday, President Barack Obama said that "in international fora" India had "shied away" from promoting democracies.

Speaking on background, the Indian official said that it would not be fair to take umbrage at small differences of opinion on international matters. Such differences did arise during delegation-level talks. But, then, a common ground was sought and that had led to various announcements including the UNSC statement made by President Obama.

The official said that President Obama had quite categorically stated his administration's support and none of his statements were casual remarks. They were well-thought out and carefully articulated statements.

The official also stated that the U.S. had gone far beyond than what is its stated position.

It was an explicit political statement and should not be dismissed simply because the two countries may not agree on all international issues, such as on Myanmar or Iran, the official added.

Seeking to dispel media reports that the UNSC support meant that India was on probation or that carrot and stick approach will be followed, the senior government official said, in diplomacy, one couldn't be so prickly. It isn't the end of the world. And, India seeking a position at the high table meant that it was seeing itself as an equal partner with nations it was dealing with. By Smita Prakash(ANI)

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