Annan visits an India with U.N. hopes

April 26, 2005 at 4:02 AM
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NEW DELHI, April 26 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan Tuesday began a four-day visit to India, in which Indian hopes for a Security Council seat will be high on the agenda.

Indian leaders are expected to lobby Annan in their campaign for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. India insists that its population and growing economy warrant a permanent place in the body, the BBC reported.

At the recent Asian-African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said, "The permanent membership of the Security Council represents 1945 and not 2005."

During Annan's visit, his first since 2000, he is scheduled to meet President A.P.J. Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He also will meet Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.

"I hope (that) during my stay we will have the chance to discuss U.N. reforms, in addition to other issues of interest," Annan said. Thursday he is scheduled to give a speech on the changing role of the United Nations.

Annan arrived in New Delhi after attending the Asian-African Summit. He was scheduled to spend Tuesday in New Delhi, meeting U.N. officials and visiting U.N. programs.

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