Pitching for a permanent seat for India in an expanded UN Security Council, Britain has said it is trying to break the long-standing deadlock over the reform of the world body, a cause it has championed "publicly" and "consistently".
"The Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) reaffirmed the United Kingdom's support for India's candidacy (for a permanent UNSC seat) during his speech in Delhi in January," Minister for the Middle East Kim Howells told Labour MP Ashok Kumar in the House of Commons here yesterday.
He said Britain "publicly" and "consistently" championed reform of the UN, including introduction of an enlarged UN Security Council with a permanent seat for India.
"Our mission in New York (at the UN headquarters) is trying to break the long-standing deadlock over reform, and we will continue with our efforts to persuade Governments that India should have a permanent seat on the Security Council - alongside Brazil, Japan and Germany, and that there should be representation from Africa," he said.
Howells said the UK enjoyed a strong partnership with India based on the shared values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, pluralism, rule of law and respect for human rights.
"The Prime Minister's recent visit to New Delhi strengthened that partnership by ensuring that progress was made on a range of bilateral and wider international issues. Both sides will use the outcome of the visit to deepen further the relationship," he said.
Answering a question on Kashmir, the minister said "it will be interesting to see how quickly the new Pakistani Government take up the mantle and ensure that the peace that is thankfully now being experienced in Kashmir becomes permanent."