US deals a blow to India's UN bid

Not a counterbalance to rising dragon

 Speaking to journalists in New York and Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake cautioned India against expecting any breakthrough “anytime soon” on the UN Security Council reforms.

“I think the President and others have made it clear that this (reform) is going to be a long and complicated process and that we’re committed to a modest expansion both of permanent and non-permanent seats,” he said.

The official said the only “real change” Obama announced was US support to India’s permanent seat in the 15-membered wing of the UN. Blake, however, asserted that no condition has been imposed on India in lieu of support for the Security Council berth. He also clarified that Obama’s endorsement of India’s quest for the slot was not a last minute decision, but had been well thought out. “It was kept hush-hush, since the endorsement was a big news item,” he said.

Elaborating on UNSC reforms, he said there are many contenders for permanent seats as India, Japan, Brazil, South Africa and Germany.

Blake also refuted beliefs that Obama’s enthusiasm for a stronger Indo-US relationship was to “counterbalance” China’s growing influence over Asia. “I don’t think you heard anybody say that in the course of the President’s visit (to India), we’re looking to counterbalance China in any way,” he added.

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