9 Nov 2010

Obama backs India's desire for permanent UN seat

9:50 pm on 9 November 2010

US President Barack Obama has backed India's ambition for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

In an address to India's parliament at the end of a three-day visit, Mr Obama praised the country's development.

His remarks will delight India, which has been lobbying for a seat at the UN's top table for years, the BBC reports.

Analysts say it does not mean India will get a permanent seat immediately; the unspecified UN reforms Mr Obama mentioned could take years.

India's long-term rival Pakistan issued a quick response opposing the move, saying the US should not be swayed by "power politics".

Mr Obama said the Washington-Delhi relationship would be one of this century's defining partnerships.

The five permanent members of the Security Council - the US, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia - have the power to veto resolutions. Some nations have criticised the format as not reflecting the 21st-century world.