US support for Indian Security Council bid has spurred momentum for UN reform: Rao

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Washington, Feb 16 (ANI): Thanking the United States for its support for India's bid for UN Security Council permanent membership, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao today said that Washington's support came at an opportune moment, as New Delhi saw new momentum for a long-mooted proposal to expand the UNSC.

The Indian Foreign Secretary said she discussed a host of issues including UN reform with top US officials in Washington in order to prepare for the Secretary of State's forthcoming visit to New Delhi in April.

Rao said she saw real support for UN reform after President Barack Obama for the first time offered the US' backing for India's candidacy during a November speech to the parliament in New Delhi.

"I definitely think it's more than lip service. The US support has come at a very opportune time as this campaign has been gathering momentum. So there is a natural confluence here of circumstances, which is very positive," Rao said.

Brazil, Germany, India and Japan last week revived a bid for permanent seats on the Security Council, saying they hoped for concrete action this year.

"There is also a larger issue of building support on the floor of the General Assembly for expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of the Security Council and that is a campaign that is ongoing," Rao said

During her interactions on Monday and Tuesday, Rao met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Robert D. Hormats, Under Secretary for Industry and Security at Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen O. Tauscher, Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, Senators Richard Lugar and Mark Warner, Congressman Howard Berman and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. By Asif Ismail (ANI)

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