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'Seat for India in Security Council will strengthen U.N.'

By Our Staff Reporter

MADURAI, AUG. 7. The United Nations will become stronger if India gets a permanent seat in the Security Council as the country is mature enough to play a key role in global affairs, the Member of Canadian Parliament and Chairman of the Government Caucus Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Relations, Derek Lee, has said.

In an interview to The Hindu here on Friday, Mr. Lee said that India was a capable player in international affairs and "it will be fair for all the nations if they play their part to see India's ascendancy to a permanent position in the United Nations body." India must continue to press for its case, he said."The Government of Canada has no objection to India's claim and it makes sense with the U.N. if the permanent status is conferred on the strong Asian nation," Mr. Lee said.

'Put history behind'

Referring to the India-Pakistan talks to settle the Kashmir dispute, he said that both the countries should put history behind and resolve the three-dimensional issues. Claiming that he was reasonably aware of the ground situation in the Valley after a few visits there, Mr. Lee said the present round of discussions between the two South Asian nations would be a `big plus' point for the region. The Canadian Government was keen to see peace in Kashmir and "if we have any role to play, India can give a call to us." "I felt helpless when I saw people suffering in a land (Kashmir) that has immense tourist potential. What a shame in the world's most beautiful place," he said referring to his visit as human rights activist years ago.

Mr. Lee, who is also the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on National Security, said that neither India nor Pakistan would contemplate a nuclear conflict even in the worst of situations as it would be a crime against humanity.

Canada was also keen to enhance its relationship with India, which he described as a `big boy' from South Asia. "The middle class market has potential to spur trade ties and we are now going to aggressively promote a relationship with India."

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