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US now hopes India will vote more with it at UN

December 09, 2010 09:51 IST

United States believes that its endorsement of India's candidacy for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council would generate enough goodwill and change New Delhi's mindset to the extent that it will now vote more often with the US and not against its initiatives as India has in the past.

In an interaction that followed his keynote speech at a conference on US-India Relations, Barack Obama administration's point man for South Asia, Robert Blake was asked how he saw the Indo-US partnership playing out in the UN Security Council in the wake of the US endorsement.

In response, Blake acknowledged, "You are right that India has frequently in the past voted against us. We sort of keep track of these things and India voted roughly 10 per cent of the time (with the US) on important votes in the past."

But, he argued that 'the way that we react to that is first of all, we think that over time that that's going to change. And, that is going to change not because of any pressure from the United States, but because of India's own desire to take on greater global responsibilities -- and that would in turn be reflected in its voting record in the Council.'

Blake also predicted that 'it will also be reflected in this better dialogue that we will have on many of these issues, and I think when we take the time to raise the political level some of the importance that we attach to specific votes and explain why it's important and why it's in India's interest to do these things, we will be able to have some impact, again, in terms of working together to achieve our common objectives.'

"So, I actually expect that it is going to change over time and I think there is good reason for optimism in that area," he reiterated.

Earlier, Blake said that notwithstanding the US endorsement of India's bid for permanent membership in the UNSC, "First of all, we have to say that this is still a long way away and there are many obstacles that have to be overcome before there is a consensus on this important issue."

He noted, "India, as many of you know, is about to become a non-permanent member (of the UNSC) beginning on January 1 for two years, and so, that will be a very important opportunity for us to work together."

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC