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US Backs India for Permanent UN Security Council Seat


U.S. President Barack Obama, left, is received by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as he arrives for bilateral talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, 8 Nov. 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he supports a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.

In a nod to India's rise as a global power, Mr. Obama told India's parliament that America seeks a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate and "that is why" he backs India becoming a permanent member.

The U.S. leader spoke in New Delhi on Monday, the third and final day of his visit to India.

He said India has "already emerged" as a world power and that U.S.-India relations will help define the 21st century.

Earlier Monday, President Obama met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The leaders of the world's two largest democracies outlined a series of agreements aimed at promoting cooperation on key issues, from fighting terrorism and bolstering economic growth to combating climate change.

During Monday's speech to parliament, President Obama also called for dialogue between India and Pakistan to reduce tensions.

He said that terrorist havens inside Pakistan are unacceptable. President Obama also said it is in everyone's best interest to ensure that both Afghanistan and Pakistan are stable, prosperous and democratic.

India blames Pakistan for fostering Islamic extremists who carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed more than 160 people.

Mr. Singh said he would welcome talks, but that engaging in discussions with Islamabad will be difficult as long as Pakistan's "terror machine is as active as ever before."

The agreements between the U.S. and India mostly fall into two broad categories, security and economics.

The U.S. and Indian leaders said some of the deal will enable both countries to crack down on terrorism, share more intelligence and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Singh said India and the U.S. had agreed to broaden their strategic dialogue to focus on more parts of the world, including Africa and Afghanistan

The U.S. president's three-day visit to India ends Tuesday, when he departs for Indonesia -- the next stop on his 10-day Asian tour.

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