Oz backs India’s claim for UNSC permanent seat

New Delhi: India’s claim for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council was backed by Australia on Thursday.

“We are of the view that under the reforms, India should be a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Our Uranium decision also reflects that not just that India voluntarily has brought itself under the international regulators of civil nuclear energy the IAEA and NSG,” Australian defence minister, Stephen Smith, told reporters here.

Stephen Smith, who is on a three-day visit to India, said the two countries have also agreed to potentially increase practical military cooperation through bilateral naval exercises in future.

Australia recently agreed to supply Uranium to India despite it not being a signatory of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), changing Australia’s long held position. It said the decision on Uranium sales to India has removed any ‘potential irritant’ in their growing bilateral relationship.

“I have no doubt that the uranium decision has removed any potential irritant in relationship and set the scene for further practical relationship,” Smith said.

Regarding the talks with his Indian counterpart A K Antony on Wednesday, Smith said the two countries have agreed on establishing Track 1.5 Dialogue (semi-government level), visit of Indian defence minister to Australia next year and increasing military cooperation by having bilateral naval exercises.

According to Smith, from his perspective, his visit to India was successful.