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US still backs India on UNSC seat despite Syria vote

world Updated: Aug 24, 2011 09:38 IST

IANS
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The United States continues to support a UN security council seat for India even as it's in touch with Indian officials on the situation in Syria, according to a US official.

"It remains our position that we support a UN security council seat for India," state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Tuesday when asked if the US still supported backed New Delhi even after it abstained from a UN Human Rights Council vote on Syria.

"I'm not going to speak to the Indian decision," she said. "I think the fact that the resolution was so strong and it was so strongly supported, including in the neighbourhood, speaks volumes about the fact that this guy (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) has been conducting revolting brutality against his own people, and even the neighbourhood's patience is growing thin with him."

Asked if it was an issue of concern for the US that a democratic country like India is not siding with Washington on the issue of Syria, Nuland said, "We continue to talk to India about what we are seeing in Syria."

Assistant secretary of state Robert Blake "has been in contact with some of his counterparts there and we'll continue to have that conversation going forward," she said.

Asked if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken to Indian external affairs minister S.M. Krishna in the recent past, she said, "She has not. Some of her deputies have been in contact. I'm not going to get into who and where and what."

In response to another question about US stand on ongoing anti-corruption movement in India, the spokesperson repeated, "We are confident that India is going to be able to address its current political disputes, its internal issues, through its own democratic system. We support peaceful protest. India has a strong, vibrant democracy, and that's where we stand."