The reform of the United Nations Security Council and India's bid to gain a permanent seat will be a “long and complicated process”, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake has said.

During a briefing on President Barack Obama's Asia trip, Mr. Blake, however, added that the United States was committed to continued engagement on UNSC reform and to a “modest expansion” of permanent and non-permanent seats.

Underscoring that there were numerous other potential candidates for a permanent UNSC seat besides India, Mr. Blake said the question of veto power had also not been resolved.

“I would caution against expecting any kind of breakthrough any time soon,” he said, adding, “We need to have a very detailed and serious conversation with all of our friends who are competing for these seats.”

Iran and Myanmar

On how the U.S. viewed India's approach — said to be divergent from its own strategy — to the questions of Iran and Myanmar, Mr. Blake said: “I think India does understand the importance of taking greater responsibility for some of these very important global issues.”

To a question from The Hindu on what the U.S.' failure to get the military interoperability agreements signed by India meant for the partnership between the two countries, the Assistant Secretary said “India will see it as in its own interest to sign these agreements” as the two countries' military engagement deepened. He added that the U.S. was “not pressuring India” on this matter.

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