WASHINGTON, July 16: A day before Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s scheduled arrival in the US capital for his first state visit, a senior US official said the Bush administration will not support India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Briefing the media on Dr Singh’s visit, the official said the timing of the G-4 resolution on the expansion of the Security Council was wrong. The G-4 represents India, Germany, Japan and Brazil, who want to join the council as permanent members.
Indicating Washington’s desire to firmly shut the door on UNSC expansion, the official said there will be no change in the US stand.
He insisted that it was not ‘a snub’ to India because the US wanted other reforms to be taken seriously and did not want to focus on the expansion issue.
The US official said the Security Council functioned efficiently as compared to other UN bodies, implying that the US did not believed it needed to be expanded soon. This is identical to China’s position.
The official, however, assured India that the US rejection of an immediate expansion of the Security Council would not affect Washington’s desire to build a strong relationship with New Delhi. Expanding its relations with India was the Bush administration’s highest ‘foreign policy priority,’ he said.
Despite such assurances, the US refusal appears to have put a damper on the enthusiasm of the Indian lobby in Washington which believes that a permanent seat in the UNSC will help India’s efforts for recognition as a major world power.