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Expect India to play constructive role in climate talks: White House


Washington, Sept 24: Ahead of the Modi-Obama talks in New York next week, the White House has said that it expects India to play a constructive role in the climate talks in Paris later this year. It also reiterated its support for India’s bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

“As the world’s largest democracy, and as a country whose economic influence is only growing, we would welcome additional opportunities for India to take on additional responsibilities when it comes to contributing to the shared interests of the international community,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, told reporters on Wednesday at his daily news conference. “We’ll look for a variety of ways to do that. Certainly, one way to do that would be for India to play a constructive role in the climate talks in Paris,” Earnest said in response to a question.

“That as a growing economy, India could make an important statement about the future of our planet, by making a serious commitment in the context of those negotiations,” he said. Earnest said US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have had the opportunity to talk about in the past.

“I would anticipate that they will talk about again in advance of the Paris Climate Talks,” he said, indicating that a formal announcement for a Obama-Modi meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly could be made today.

In response to a question, Earnest said there is no change in America’s endorsement for India as a member of the UN Security Council. “My understanding is that the President has previously stated that the United States would be supportive of including India in the United Nations Security Council, in the context of reforming the governance structure of the United Nations,” he said.

“That was something that the President announced on his trip to India — his first trip to India back in 2010. And that continues to be the position of the United States, and I think it reflects the increasingly important role that we’re seeing India play around the world,” Earnest said.

Modi, he said, shares Obama’s goal of a deeper strategic and economic ties between India and the US. “When the President travelled to India earlier this year, there was much discussion of the important economic ties between our two countries,” he said.

“So there are any number of reasons why the President would work closely with his counterpart, Prime Minister Modi, who I know understands these kinds of dynamics, and shares the President’s goal of trying to deepen these ties with an eye toward expanding economic opportunity for the citizens in both the United States and India,” Earnest said.


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