Trump administration backs India’s role in ‘reformed UN Security Council’

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The Trump administration has restated its support for India’s bid to be a permanent member on a reformed UN Security Council, a senior US official said and emphasized on the fact that the two ‘global partners’ share a joint commitment for working on  global challenges like denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, PTI reported.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asia Region Alice Wells said US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale met Foreign Secretary of India Vijay Gokhale at the beginning of the week of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly to build on the momentum of the first two plus two meeting between the US and India in New Delhi as well as to reaffirm the strategic convergence that Washington sees in the bilateral ties.

“We really are global partners and the meeting (between Hale and Gokhale) reaffirmed our shared commitment to working together on international challenges – from a denuclearised Korean Peninsula to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan,” Wells told reporters during a briefing on US priorities in the South and Central Asia Region on Friday.

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The American diplomat said the US reiterates its support for India’s role in a reformed UN Security Council. The New York meeting was a continuation of the discussion at the 2+2 meeting. “It’s a conversation that really covers the map in terms of how we can work together in Afghanistan, what we are doing to promote free and open Indo-Pacific and also in particular, how we are both very supportive of the democratic developments that we see transpiring in the Maldives,” she said.

“As global non-proliferation partners, the United States expressed strong support for India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group,” a joint statement issued after the meeting between Modi and Trump had said.

Earlier, at a Joint Fundraising Committee Reception in South Dakota, Trump said that India had called and expressed its desire for a trade deal, PTI reported.

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“Frankly, I’ll tell you, India called us the other day. They said they would like to start doing a trade deal, first time,” Trump said. “They wouldn’t talk about it with previous administrations. They were very happy with the way it was.”

Trump had also earlier hosted Modi at the White House during his visit to the US in June last year. The White House said it was the “first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this (President Trump’s) administration” and that it was “seeking to roll out the red carpet”.

Modi had reciprocated warmly. “When he (President Trump) came to India in 2014… he was full of very warm remarks and observations about me, I still remember them,” he told reporters at the White House.

Swaraj had gone to attend the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem chaired by Trump as the high-level week of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly began in New York.

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