Obama asked to endorse India’s bid for permanent UNSC seat

Obama asked to endorse India’s bid for permanent UNSC seat

Washington: Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s landmark India visit, an influential US think tank has asked him to endorse New Delhi’s quest for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

“The White House should endorse India’s quest for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council," said Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“This bold move would reassure Indians of America’s dedication to the relationship," it said in its latest report ‘Obama in India Building a Global Partnership: Challenges, Risks, Opportunities’, released in Washington on Thursday.

Such a recommendation from Carnegie comes a day after the Obama administration appeared to be inching closer to it.

“Given India’s rise and its significance, we believe that India will be a central part of any consideration of a reformed Security Council," Under secretary of state for political affairs, Bill Burns, said at a special White House news conference on India ahead of Obama’s 6-9 November visit to Mumbai and New Delhi.

Separately, deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, Ben Rhodes, said: “We’ve, through the G-20, through our focus on the G-20 and some other bodies, already sought to give India a greater voice in global architecture -- for instance, saying that the G-8 can’t deal with global economic issues as effectively as the G-20."

The Carnegie report authored by Ashley J. Tellis said that Obama has a unique opportunity to cement a global partnership with a rapidly emerging power and India has the potential to be America’s most important strategic partner.

A strong bilateral relationship with New Delhi will help Washington manage China’s rise, promote democracy globally and protect broader American interests, it said.

“By reaffirming the US commitment to aid India’s growth in power and emphasizing America’s fellowship with India, Obama can help bring the two countries together on shared interests and move their relationship forward significantly," Tellis wrote in the report released by the Washington-based think tank.

“While Obama has understandably focused on competing priorities, including the troubled US economy and ongoing wars abroad, Washington must devote more resources to its relations with New Delhi. India plays a critical role in Afghanistan, international economic recovery and preserving a stable Asian order -- all priority issues for the United States," the report said.

The civil nuclear agreement between the US and India was the first step in bringing India out of its nuclear isolation. “Washington should broaden its efforts to involve everything from aiding the expansion of nuclear power in India to improving collaboration on nuclear security," it said.