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September 16, 2000
US sees India as strong candidate for Security Council: PTI
T V Parasuram in Washington
The United States now sees India as having very strong credentials for a permanent membership of the U N Security Council.
"Our position has been and continues to be that India will obviously be a candidate -- a strong candidate -- for Security Council (permanent) membership," Bruce Riedel, senior director of President Clinton's National Security Council, and Karl F Inderfurth, assistant secretary of state, said at a White House briefing.
They said the subject was discussed between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, however, the expansion has still "some time to go."
Not too long ago, US officials used to link Indian membership to solving the Kashmir issue to Pakistan's satisfaction and a former assistant secretary of state had gone on record saying so.
Clinton and Vajpayee also discussed at greater length India's concerns about pecekeeping in Sierra Leone.
The two countries, they said, have a mutual interest in seeing UN peacekeeping strengthened. "As a result of the discussions," they said, "we will be seeing greater co-operation between the US and India on peacekeeping, including what we can respectively do to enhance that very important mechanism."
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