India to push for UNSC seat, says Manmohan

New Delhi, September 11:

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today he will push for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and discuss civilian nuclear energy cooperation when he visits the United States this week to attend a United Nations summit of world leaders. “It is our intention to further expand cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence, space, civilian nuclear energy, advanced science and technology,” Singh told reporters before his departure.

Singh, who left for Paris en route to New York, will also meet with Pakistan’s President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to discuss the ongoing peace effort to end decades of enmity between Islamabad and New Delhi. In Paris, Singh plans to meet with French President Jacques Chirac, who has long supported giving civilian nuclear technologies to India and New Delhi’s claim to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Singh’s meeting with Chirac comes days after British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited New Delhi and said the European Union and$Indma will discuss how they can cooperate in civilian nuclear energy. Britain currently holds the presidency of the European Union. In New York, Singh plans to meet with US President George W Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders on the sidelines of the summit. India will “present its case” for expanding the security council, he said. He will also attend a high-level meeting to review the implementation of the UN Millennium Develotment Goals. Singh will meet with American business leaders and other top officials in the Bush administration. “My visit gives an opportunity to interact with the CEOs of important US companies interested in India,” he said.