Singapore Supports India's U.N. Security Bid

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SINGAPORE—Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday said that his country will support India's bid for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, an indication of New Delhi's growing geopolitical and economic clout.

"As India continues to grow so will its influence and stature," Mr. Lee said in a speech in Singapore while hosting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Mr. Singh is on a one-day visit to Singapore for bilateral talks aimed at strengthening the economic, political, defense and cultural relations between the two countries. Messrs. Singh and Lee had attended the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN summit in Bali, Indonesia that ended Saturday.

Singapore is the latest country to have shown its support to India. Russia and even China have lent their support to New Delhi's bid for a greater role at the U.N.

During his India visit in November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of the Indian parliament and pledged support for New Delhi's efforts to gain a permanent Security Council seat.

"Singapore looks forward to India playing a more active role in global affairs. We support India's permanent membership in an expanded security council," Mr. Lee said. Mr. Lee also said that a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement, or CECA, signed between the two countries in 2005 was undergoing a second review which will be completed soon.

That CECA allows both countries greater access to each other's markets, such as the financial-services sector and creates avenues for increasing foreign investment.

Mr. Singh said that Singapore was a model because of its investment in education and infrastructure. "Singapore's rapid transformation and economic growth model is a beacon of hope in the uncertain world we live in."

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