Nepal backs India's Security Council bid
Marking a diplomatic gain for India, Nepal's new multiparty government has said it would support its southern neighbour's bid for a permanent berth in the UN Security Council -- a year after the then royal government had rebuffed the request.
Nepal's Foreign Affairs Minister Sahana Pradhan, who is attending the ongoing 62nd UN General Assembly in New York, Tuesday said her government was supporting bids by India and Japan to become Security Council members with veto power.
Pradhan also said that Nepal would like to see Germany, Brazil and an African nation represented in the council.
The 15-member body currently has five permanent members with veto power: Britain, France, Russia, China and the US.
While the US is opposed to India's bid, Britain and Russia are supporting it. China has said it has no objections.
Nepal's vote comes as a tangible diplomatic gain for India that had disapproved of King Gyanendra's coup and supported the political parties that launched a pro-democracy movement to end the royal regime.
During the king's 15-month rule, India had sent only one emissary for diplomatic negotiations while all other meetings and projects were put on hold.
However, the royal government snubbed then Indian minister of state for external affairs Rao Inderjit Singh, saying it would support Japan and Brazil, but would put its closest neighbour's request "under consideration".
When a public uprising forced the king to quit and the opposition parties came to power, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala chose to make New Delhi his first port of call abroad. Manmohan Singh gave Koirala an unprecedented welcome by going to the airport to receive him.
Currently, along with other major donors, India has been urging the Koirala government to hold elections in November as per schedule and has offered to help in any way it can.