UK, France back India for permanent UNSC seat


Prime VIP
Toronto, June 27

In a significant development, Britain and France voiced their support for India’s long-standing case for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This backing came from both countries during their respective bilateral meetings, held between Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and new British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ahead of G-20 Summit at Toronto.

The Indian Prime Minister also extended invitation to Sarkozy and Cameron to visit India during the meetings, which they happily accepted.

This was the first meeting Dr Manmohan Singh had with Cameron after latter’s election as the British Prime Minister. Cameron told the PM that he would visit India in July. Earlier, Cameron had visited India in 2006 as a leader of opposition.

During their bilateral talks, Cameron said he would welcome more Indian students to come to Britain for studies. This assurance would help the Indian students to get higher education, especially in information technology and other technical areas, after increasing attacks on them in Australia.

Both leaders also shared views on the prospects of G-20 Summit. Dr Manmohan Singh told his Britain counterpart that rigorous efforts were required by all countries to see that global recovery was consolidated. The British Prime Minister underlined the need for reforms of the international financial institutions and the UN also.

Dr Manmohan Singh also had a warm meeting with French President Sarkozy recalling his visit to India in January 2008. The PM extended a fresh invitation to him and his wife Carla Bruni to visit India again. President Sarkozy recalled the Prime Minister’s visit to France in July last year where he was the guest of honour on the occasion of French national day.

During the meeting Sarkozy said he wanted India to play a critical role in world affairs and not just in G-20. Both Dr Manmohan Singh and Sarkozy discussed the G-20 Summit since the chair will pass on to France after November this year when Seoul hosts a summit.

Sarkozy said he wanted to consult India in forging a vision for G-20.The two leaders also discussed bilateral cooperation and reviewed the trade ties between them.

The challenge of the Toronto Summit will be three fold: To ensure that global economic recovery is durable, balanced and sustainable; to calibrate exit strategies in the light of growing concerns over expansionary fiscal policies; and to focus on medium and long-term structural issues relating to governance issues.

During his stay in Toronto, Dr Manmohan Singh would also hold bilateral talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and USA President Barack Obama.