The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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G4 sends unity message to America

New Delhi, June 18: Foreign ministers of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil will meet next week, signalling the four countries would stick together in their bid for a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council despite America’s attempt to wean away the first two.

External affairs minister K. Natwar Singh, who is now in London, will cut short his visit to Italy for the June 22 emergency meeting in Brussels with his Group of Four counterparts.

The George W. Bush administration, which had already said it would support Japan’s candidacy, yesterday gave the impression that it also backs India’s claim for a permanent seat in the council, a commitment US officials have repeatedly refused to make in public.

Nicholas Burns, the under-secretary of state for political affairs, said the Bush administration “would likely support adding two or so new permanent members to the council”, based on factors like size of a country’s economy, population, military capacity and potential to contribute to the UN system.

The announcement came as latest assessments in New York concluded that the G4 resolution seeking restructuring of the world body had a fair chance of passing with a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly next week.

Indian officials maintained there was no way Delhi would like to split the G4.

“We are trying to negotiate with as many countries as possible for support to the G4 resolution, which would be tabled at the UN for consideration,” a foreign ministry official said.

Japan was the first to voice its reservations. “Japan cannot go along with this idea (of splitting the G4),” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said.

“We cannot say that’s right and jump on to the US proposal as we have been in the G4 campaign,” foreign minister Nobutaka Machimura said after a call from US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

Germany also said it would adhere to the G4 plan and argued that adding only two permanent members was not enough to change the disproportion in the Security Council.

The G4 countries have already made it clear they are willing to enter the Security Council without veto rights for the time being. Most of the permanent Five members ' the US, the UK, France, Russia and China ' are opposed to share the rights with the additional members.

Analysts said the G4, by publicly dropping the demand for veto rights, has shown flexibility and might get the support of two-thirds of the 191 member nations.

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