The United States’ support for India’s candidacy for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council is consistent with U.S. interest in seeing India sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) according to a State Department spokesman.

In response to a question on how the U.S. could reconcile its position on India signing the NPT with its support for India’s UNSC seat, Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, said, “We do not see those (goals) as being at odds.”

When asked whether India’s candidacy should be looked at equally with countries such as Japan, which has forsworn nuclear weapons entirely, or South Africa, which has given up nuclear weapons, Mr. Crowley said that India had shown itself to be a “responsible global stakeholder”.

He added that President Barack Obama had announced the U.S. position on the matter during his recent visit to the country, however emphasising that U.S. support for India on this issue was “not exclusive of our support for other countries” as well.

On the questions of non-proliferation and disarmament, Mr. Crowley reiterated that there had been no change in the U.S. position. “President Obama’s April 2009 speech in Prague envisioned a world without nuclear weapons,” he said, and given that the U.S. and India shared this vision, the two countries would continue to work together toward that goal.

“There is absolutely no contradiction between that recognition and U.S. commitment to the NPT,” Mr. Crowley noted, adding also that the U.S. was supportive of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as well, even if India had reached an agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group for the transfer of civilian nuclear technology.

In the context of non-proliferation treaties, Mr. Crowley also pointed out that the State Department had been encouraging Pakistan to sign on to the Fissile Material Cut-off regime.

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