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U.N. seat: U.K. gives active support

Saturday 2 July 2005, by BARUAH*Amit

Britain to be a vocal and public supporter of India’s cause

No problem reviewing travel advisory on Jammu and Kashmir Annual EU-India summit in September first week India welcome to partner in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

NEW DELHI: London is an active, not passive, supporter of India’s entry into the United Nations’ Security Council as a permanent member, British High Commissioner Michael Arthur told presspersons here on Friday.

Sir Michael clarified that the British decision not to co-sponsor the G-4 resolution, seeking expansion of the Security Council, was a "technical, New York-specific issue".

However, the High Commissioner stressed that Britain would vote in favour of the G-4 resolution in New York.

The High Commissioner was speaking on the occasion of Britain taking over the rotating presidency of the European Union.

According to him, the decision not to co-sponsor the resolution was related to sentiments towards other member States and not a sign of lack of support to the Indian case for a permanent Security Council seat.

The High Commissioner was at pains to emphasise that Britain had been one of the strongest supporters of India’s entry into the Security Council.

If the Security Council was to enjoy legitimacy then India must have a place in it, Sir Michael said. Britain, he added, had been a vocal and public supporter of India’s cause.

He said that London had no problem in reviewing its advisory that warned British citizens against travelling to Jammu & Kashmir.

`Entire J&K not disturbed’

Sir Michael was quick to point out that the advisory was not for the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir.

"My wife has just returned from Ladakh this morning," he said to drive home this point.

The British travel advisory was not for political reasons but for the safety of citizens.

The High Commissioner also pointed out that the annual European Union-India summit would take place under the British E.U. presidency in the first week of September. The two sides were preparing to issue an "action plan" for what they planned to do in the future during this summit meeting.

Sir Michael was hopeful that India would also be associated with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is to be constructed in France.

India would be welcomed as a partner, he maintained.

European Commission official, Alexander Spachis, was also present.

See online : The Hindu

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