During a May 19 lunch with US-UN Deputy PermRep Wolff, Indian Deputy PermRep Ajai Malhotra reported that he had been sent to New York with instructions from Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran to cooperate with the USG on the broad range of issues facing both countries at the UN.
64794 5/19/2006 21:04 06USUNNEWYORK1033 USUN New York CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN "VZCZCXYZ0000OO RUEHWEBDE RUCNDT #1033 1392104ZNY CCCCC ZZHO 192104Z MAY 06FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORKTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9099INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATERUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 1332RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 1138RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU IMMEDIATE 0118RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA IMMEDIATE 0169RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO IMMEDIATE 0133RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 2161" "C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 001033
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/19/2016 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, UNSC, KUNR, AORC, NP, IN
SUBJECT: INDIAN DPR PLEDGES TO COOPERATE WITH USG ON NEPAL, UN BUDGET, AND SYG SELECTION
Classified By: Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff, per 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C/NF) During a May 19 lunch with USUN Deputy PermRep Wolff, Indian Deputy PermRep Ajai Malhotra (protect) reported that he had been sent to New York with instructions from Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran to cooperate with the USG on the broad range of issues facing both countries at the UN. Expressing criticism of the often confrontational approach to the USG taken by his boss, Indian PermRep Nirupam Sen, Malhotra said he had -- and would use -- a direct line to New Delhi to ensure USG-GOI cooperation continued in New York. On Nepal, Malhotra voiced satisfaction with and support for Ambassador Wolff's message that the USG would both support the new government should it request UN assistance and coordinate with regional partners such as India. The Indian DPR said he would recommend to New Delhi that India talk to Nepal about the possibility of such a request for UN assistance. In an aside on the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), Malhotra said the entity was useless and that India would be pleased to ""get rid of it.""
2. (C/NF) Turning to problematic General Assembly (GA) resolutions that India is reported to support on the selection process for the new Secretary-General and on lifting the cap on the UN budget, Ambassador Wolff urged Malhotra to consider the negative consequences on the U.S.-India relationship in Congress and elsewhere if India is perceived to be playing an unhelpful role in New York. Malhotra replied that India's only real interest behind both resolutions is to promote its candidacy to join the UN Security Council. He explained that India would much prefer a consensus GA resolution on the SYG selection process. If it appeared that the resolution would garner support only from Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) delegations, Malhotra pledged that India would oppose pursuing it. If Indian PR Sen decides to forge ahead despite lack of consensus, the Indian DPR said he personally would obtain instructions from New Delhi overturning Sen's decision. Declaring that India ""doesn't care"" about the GA resolution on the UN budget, Malhotra asked that the USG explain what it wants on this issue and on mandate review, implying that he would try to be helpful. He added that India had already made its point in the previous GA vote on reform and would not necessarily benefit from another one.
3. (C/NF) COMMENT: Indian PR Sen is notorious in New York for inveighing against Western powers, particularly the USG, that supposedly conspire to undermine the interests of the NAM. While many other members of the delegation recognize that the U.S.-India relationship has progressed considerably since the days of the Cold War, Sen's views often make working with the Indian Mission quite challenging. Malhotra's comments suggest he may have been instructed to check his boss's antiquated instincts. We will test this possibility in the days and weeks ahead to see if we can put U.S.-India cooperation at the UN on a firmer footing.