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India, Brazil should work for UNSC: Patil

world Updated: Apr 16, 2008 14:27 IST
Liz Mathew
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Growing ties between the governments of India and Brazil should move to the level of partnership between the people of two countries, President Pratibha Patil said in Brasilia while addressing the Brazil Senate.

In her speech on Tuesday, Patil said both countries should work within the framework of the G-4 countries (India, Germany, Brazil and Japan) to pursue the "rightful and long overdue permanent membership of the UN Security Council".

"The two governments have already decided to organise cultural festivals on a reciprocal basis later this year. Our bilateral partnership should move from a partnership between the governments to the next higher level of a partnership between our peoples," the president said.

"We have closely coordinated our positions in the multilateral and are working together within the framework of G-4 to pursue our rightful and long overdue permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC)," Patil told a thinly attended Senate.

According to Patil, the growing trade ties between the two countries would "undoubtedly" get a further boost with the ratification and implementation of the India-Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) - a Latin American trade bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

There were hardly 20 people in the 81-member upper house of the National Congress for the first address of an Indian president.

Nalin Surie, secretary (west) in the ministry of external affairs, said India and Brazil had decided to begin negotiations with the countries opposing their permanent membership in the UNSC.

"Let's move from the situation of hiding their positions. It's been 15 years. The world is changing even without the structural changes," Surie told reporters.

Agreeing with Surie, Roberto Jaguaribe, undersecretary general of political affairs in Brazil's foreign ministry said, "India became the most obvious candidate and Brazil is almost there."

Patil, India's first woman president, will meet Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Wednesday, when she leaves for Mexico for the second leg of her 12-day trip to Latin American countries.