(NEW DELHI, India) -- President Obama will deliver a speech to the Indian Parliament Monday morning in which he will call for India to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council -- a huge development in the world of international politics, and one virulently opposed by India’s nemesis, Pakistan.
“This is a decision the president has made because of the strategic importance of India, because the president is fighting for jobs in America, because the president sees a more prosperous and peaceful Asia, India is a cornerstone of that Asian policy,” said U.S. Ambassador to India Tom Roemer in an interview with ABC News. “We have security challenges in Afghanistan, fragility in Pakistan, great economic markets in India. India is a partner strategically in the Indian ocean and in maritime security and in intelligence sharing. This is really an indispensible partnership, as the president has said.”
India's desire for a seat on the powerful security council has been well-known for years, but until now the U.S. refrained from taking a position as others including Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Japan, and South Africa have also started campaigning for a slot on a reconstituted and reformed council. The White House also supports Japan being given a permanent seat, as first pledged by President George W. Bush.
There are currently five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the U.S., U.K., Russia, China and France. But for years, United Nations officials have discussed reforming and expanding the security council to better represent the world.
The president will “discuss how we look forward to a reformed Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” said deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes in a preview of the president’s speech. “This is of course a very important issue to the Indian people and it reflects in an important way the extent to which the United States welcomes India on the world stage as a risen power and as a key partner of ours.”
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