M A I N   N E W S

In UNSC backing, Obama fulfils India’s biggest wish
New Delhi hopes sanctions on DAE too would be lifted
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, November 9
By endorsing India’s candidature for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, US President Barack Obama has fulfilled what was perhaps India’s dearest wish from his trip to this country, his lecturing to New Delhi on Myanmar notwithstanding.

And now New Delhi hopes the US would do another favour by lifting sanctions on the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), which have been in place for several years now affecting India’s strategic programmes.

Sources acknowledged today that Obama’s support to India’s claim for a UNSC seat would boost its campaign for restructuring the body.

India would now have to interact closely with the permanent delegation of the US to the UN once it joins the Security Council in January next year as a non-permanent member.

With America extending its support, four permanent members of the Security Council — the US, France, Britain and Russia — have lent their voice to India’s claim for a permanent seat at the high-table. China has merely stated that it fully understands India’s aspirations to play a greater role at the UN, including the Security Council.

New Delhi would, however, continue to be part of the G-4 group of nations, comprising India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, which have been seeking permanent seats for themselves at the Security Council and have endorsed each others’ candidature for the purpose.

On the issue of America removing restrictions on ISRO, DRDO and the Bharat Bynamics Limited, the sources said the move had cleared the way for a more unimpeded flow of high technology exports from the US. The licensing requirements would also go away.

Asked why the DAE continued to be on the blacklist of the US, the sources said the issue was being discussed with the Obama administration and expressed the hope that the restrictions on it, too, would go.

On Obama’s public criticism of India for not speaking about the democracy in Myanmar in his address to MPs yesterday, the sources said New Delhi had been raising this issue with the military ‘junta’ there from time to time. However, it must be taken into account that India had issues concerning its security with Myanmar, since it shares a 1,600-km long border with the country. In this connection, they drew attention to the US President’s statement that India should engage East Asia. “If we were to engage South Asia, the first country we have to deal with is Myanmar.”

Referring to the Indo-US defence relationship, they admitted that there were differences within the Indian forces over three key pacts that America is nudging India to sign, including the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) and the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA). However, a final word on this was yet to be said. In any case, the defence relationship between the two countries had been growing fast. The defence trade between the two countries had crossed the $4 billion mark in the last couple of years.

The sources noted with satisfaction the US President’s statements on Pakistan, particularly the one in which he promised to pressurise Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks. The sources also underlined that Washington fully understood the fact that many institutions in Pakistan, particularly the army, had an ‘India-centric’ approach.

About Afghanistan, they said India and the US had agreed to work together in the embattled nation in capacity building and developmental projects. However, there was no question of India collaborating in any military project in the embattled country.

On Iran, the sources noted that the joint statement issued by India and the US had called for giving diplomacy a chance to resolve the nuclear standoff.





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