WASHINGTON – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh received no guarantee that United States would lobby for India to have a seat on the U.N. Security Council,he said Wednesday.
“The United States feels that there are other priorities of the United Nations reforms that will come first,” Singh said in a luncheon speech at the National Press Club.
But the leader said he had heard a “thunder” of applause when he announced his hopes for a U.N. Security Council spot to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday. That reassured him.
“I think your task is cut out,” Singh said to any members of Congress hearing his remarks. “By any criteria,India has a strong case to become a member of the Security Council.”
Security Council status may not be in the works,but the prime minister's visit yielded concessions from President Bush. The president said in a joint statement Monday that he would urge Congress to allow India to resume importing materials for expansion of its civilian nuclear infrastructure.
Those increases would expand the economy of India,the world's second most populated country,with more than 1 billion residents. The economy has grown at 6 percent per year for the past 15 years,Singh said.
Such improvements have filtered into other nearby countries,such as Sri Lanka,Singh said. And the new partnership with the United States will help India's political relationships with Pakistan and China.
Globalization makes cooperation between countries necessary,Singh said in response to a question about U.S. and European businesses setting up shop in India.
“We cannot stop globalization,but we must make it work for all our people,” he said. “McDonalds and BMWs are a relatively new phenomenon,and we're not against them.”
India's dynamic mix of languages and religions makes it a good democracy to help rebuild a diverse Iraq,Singh said. But he called the war mistake.