New Delhi: Reacting to criticism that US president Barack Obama's endorsement of India as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council was probably no more than wishy-washy expression of sentiment, which would not be followed upon in the long term by Washington, New Delhi policy wonks said Tuesday that the endorsement was an "explicit political" statement of "unequivocal" support. This despite the US sermonising on Iran and Myanmar.
Shrugging off Obama's hectoring on Iran and Myanmar, where the US president felt India could be more forthright in its approach towards human rights and proliferation issues, officials said India and the US were not engaged in bargaining and that there was no quid pro quo involved in America's endorsement of India for a seat at the UNSC.
They were also dismissive of claims that the US endorsement was mere word play as the long-drawn process of reforms at the United Nations, without which it would not be possible for nations such as India to assume a place at the Security Council table, was so far off in the future that such endorsement would more or less be redundant by the time reforms fructified.
Officials feel the process of discussions on UN reforms amongst nations will soon start and gather momentum. They feel Obama's statement, though "symbolic", was "substantive" as well.
These sources were also of the opinion that Germany, Japan and Brazil would not react negatively to the US endorsement. Of the five permanent members they noted that Britain and France were open in their support, while Russia has expressed positive sentiments in the past.
Though China continues to play its cat-and-mouse game its position could change as well.
As for Obama's hectoring on Iran and Myanmar, sources felt that India need not get hyper-sensitive as 'friends' could be expected to speak their minds on issues of concern. Give-and-take of views was part of the engagement process between nations.