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Why no UN Security Council seat for India:Jim

Written by: Staff

Washington, May 18 : Chairman of the House International Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Jim Leach has said the US Congress is very sympathetic to accord India a seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

''If the issue comes before the Congress, you will find it is very sympathetic to include India as a member of the UNSC and you would find minimum dissent, if any,'' he said.

At a hearing of the Subcommittee on ''The US and South Asia: An Expanding agenda'' here yesterday, he raised the issue of India's eligibility for the UN Security Council membership, expressing disappointment that this was not announced when a senior administrator visited India recently.

During the question-answer session that followed the testimony of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher Jim Leach said India's membership would be very compatible with the interests of the United States.

He seemed surprised at the administration's indifference and said,''Giving India the membership seems to me to be a natural issue, something in the interest of India, something that would be very compatible with the interests of the United States. And yet our position, as I understand it, still is that we're unprepared to take a position at this time.'' ''I am stumped by our lack of preparation, frankly, and find it awkward and philosophically, logically and geostrategically incompatible with good judgment. Would you care to reference why that judgment of mind is out of sorts with the administration,'' Mr Leach said.

However, Mr Boucher replied saying, ''We have thought about this very carefully. The thinking about India takes place within a broader context, first of the UN reform, where we want to see many aspects of the United Nations reformed and the US priority is to see many of those things done first.'' We are going to take up the issue of Security Council reform at some point. There's not really any kind of consensus now. I think our judgment and the best way to approach this is not to have the United States take a position for particular countries in advance, but rather to maintain a certain flexibility as we go in,'' the state secretary added.

He said the US recognises the need for the Security Council to reflect the realities of the present day.

''We have recognised that there are countries, like India, with whom we share significant values, significant approaches to foreign relations and where we have a rapidly expanding and important relationship. And those countries, particularly India, do play a very important role in the world, he said.

He said India's candidature is one that needs to be considered.

There are philosophical, logical and geostrategic reasons why to consider its membership on the council, he added.


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