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US to find common ground with India
Washington, Mar 6 (IANS):
Published on 7 Mar. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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With national interests converging, the US hopes to find more common ground with India, a growing world power that has a significant role to play on virtually all major challenges of the century, says a senior US official. “We think that India has a significant role to play on virtually all of the major challenges that we face in this century, from global economic dislocation to energy security, climate change, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and violent extremism,” said Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. “Given India’s history as a leading non-aligned movement nation, we have sometimes been at odds in the United Nations and India has opposed UN involvement on sensitive matters such as Kashmir,” he said at the Johns Hopkins University Model UN Conference Friday. “Nonetheless, with our national interests converging, we hope to find more common ground with India in the coming years.” India like the US understands the importance of the United Nations, Blake said, noting “India is one of several countries seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, underlining the importance it attaches to the United Nations.” “Soon to be the world’s most populous country, India already boasts a trillion-dollar-plus economy and is a growing world power,” he noted. Blake recalled that last July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited India and launched a Strategic Dialogue which called for increased collaboration in nearly every field, from developing renewable energy technology to fighting extremism. India and three other South Asian nations - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal - are among six countries that contribute more than 5,000 police and military personnel to UN peacekeeping operations, he said noting, “They have played a critical role in, for example, helping Haiti recover from the earthquake.” In the case of US, the UN plays a helpful and necessary role in nearly every aspect of its operations, “particularly as we strive to build a functioning, efficient, and responsive democracy,” Blake said. US may set up military tribunal for 9/11 suspects Washington, March 6 (DPA) Reports that the White House may use military tribunals to try key terrorism suspects linked to the September 11, 2001, attacks drew a sharp rebuke from civil rights groups Friday. The Washington Post reported that President Barack Obama’s legal advisers were set to recommend that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 2001 attack, and four alleged co-conspirators, be tried for their crimes in a military tribunal. The recommendation, if approved by the Obama administration, would reverse an administration pledge made in November to try the September 11 suspects in a civilian federal court in New York. Officials in New York City, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have strongly opposed the trial, while conservative Republicans have argued the suspects attacked the US and should remain in military custody. The White House has said it is reviewing the case, but insisted that no final decision has been taken on how to move forward. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly warned against abandoning the civilian courts option. “If this stunning reversal comes to pass, President Obama will deal a death blow to his own Justice Department, not to mention American values,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the rights group. Obama would “demonstrate that his principles are up for grabs and lose all credibility with Americans who care about justice and the rule of law,” Romero said.

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