Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Washington, the United States on Saturday said India's role in international politics, which was growing in a positive way, would have to be accomodated in institutions like the United Nations, but was non-committal on supporting its candidature for a permanent seat in the Security Council.
Making it clear that the US was not opposed to anyone's candidature, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said
in an interview to Doordarshan that it favoured expansion of the UNSC permanent seats by two or so for whom the veto power was not necessary.
India and other G-4 members seeking permanent membership of the UNSC 'are friends', she said while contending that Washington strongly believed that the larger issue of UN reforms needed to be addressed as otherwise justice will not be done to the world body.
She said that while Washington has long supported Japan's candidature, it had also laid down criteria for countries wanting to join the top body.
Observing that the US was 'very much looking forward' to Dr Singh's visit, the first by him to Washington since he assumed office in 2004, Rice said a 'whole range' of issues will be discussed covering energy, defence and economic cooperation as also the common values the two countries shared as large democracies.
Describing last week's London attacks as unfortunate and a tragic reminder of the threat posed by terrorism, she said a lot of work needed to be done in dealing with the scourge.
India, as a democracy, was a 'very good partner' in the war on terrorism and the US sought greater cooperation in this area, she said.
She said the US welcomed the efforts being made by Dr Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to improve relations between the two countries.
On the ongoing discussions for cooperation in the energy and high-technology sectors, she said these were progressing and they were 'very good'.
Asked whether there was a road map for Indo-US defence cooperation, she said, "This is a relationship which is well underway."