Obama supports U.N. Security Council seat for India

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NEW DELHIPresident Obama said Monday that India
should rise to the status of holding a permanent seat on the U.N.
Security Council, a dramatic show of respect to the powerful nation he
hopes will play a key role in support of U.S. interests around the
world.

But the stature would come with a price, Obama told
members of parliament, exhorting them to join with the international
community in difficult fights ahead.

“Let me suggest that with increased power comes
increased responsibility,” Obama said in an evening address here. The
U.N. exists to preserve peace and security and advance human rights, he
said, which are the responsibilities of all nations “but especially
those that seek to lead in the 21st century.”

The pledge is only a step in direction of new international stature for India. The nation likely won’t attain permanent council status anytime soon, and the United States is backing its addition only as part of a series of council reforms that could be years in the making.

Still, the promise fulfills India’s
top priority on the agenda of Obama’s visit, a three-day series of
meetings to build what the White House is now calling an “indispensable
partnership.”

In his final scheduled day in the country, Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to craft the broad outlines of that partnership, agreeing to
collaborate anew in the effort to root out terrorists, reform export
controls and combat hunger. The talks touched on sensitive subjects, as
Obama unveiled for Singh the findings of a new report on the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and what the U.S. knew in advance about the American collaborator David Headley.

The report, due to be released publicly as early as
Monday, shows that American intelligence community had picked up
general suspicions about Headley but that the information didn’t point
to a specific plot in the works, administration officials said.

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