Obama kept support for India`s UNSC bid secret till last

US Prez Barack Obama kept his endorsement of India`s bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council secret till minutes.

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 19:10 PM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama kept
his endorsement of India`s bid for a permanent membership of
the UN Security Council secret till minutes before he rose to
address the Indian Parliament, as his move was splashed on
front pages of American newspapers said on Tuesday.

"Obama had kept the move close to his chest even till
the last moment and it was not clear until shortly before his
parliamentary address that Obama would call for India to join
an expanded council on a permanent basis," The Washington Post
reported.

The support received endorsement from the media too
which viewed it as a move to counter China.

The papers, who carried Obama`s support announced in a
speech in the Indian Parliament on the front pages, said that
it emphasized Washington`s efforts to deepen its economic and
defence relationship with the world`s biggest democracy.

While backing the President`s move, the Post cautioned
that endorsement does not set a time frame for when India
would secure a permanent Security Council seat. Nor does it
offer any guarantee that India would secure such a seat.

The New York Times on the other hand said that Obama
backed India for the UNSC to counter China. "The Obama move is
aimed at countering China."

"By endorsing India for a permanent seat on the UN
Security Council, President Obama on Monday signaled the
United States` intention to create a deeper partnership of the
world`s two largest democracies that would expand commercial
ties and check the influence of an increasingly assertive
China," the daily said.

The Times warned that the move is lokely to set off
fresh concerns in Beijing, which has had a contentious
relationship with India and has expressed alarm at American
efforts to tighten alliances with Asian nations wary of
China`s rising power.

"India has campaigned hard for a UN seat, long a
subtext of a warming India and US relationship. Obama embraced
the idea in a speech to India`s parliament that emphasized
Washington`s efforts to deepen its economic and defense
relationship with the world`s biggest democracy," The Post
said.

The Post also said that India was offered a permanent
seat on the council 55 years ago, in 1955. "But that offer,
made by the United States and the Soviet Union, was declined
by India`s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru said
the seat should be given to China instead," it said.

The Los Angeles Times said Obama`s pledge is "only a
step" in direction of new international stature for India.

"The endorsement, though of little practical value at
the moment, is aimed at boosting relations with India, and is
a signal of the administration`s vision of Asia at a time when
China`s influence is growing," it said.

"The move is a signal from Obama about how the United
States sees Asia`s future. The administration has been working
to strengthen the partnership with India at a time when both
countries want to counter a more assertive China," it said.

PTI