Singapore PM backs India bid for permanent UNSC seat

Singapore: Hailing India`s growing influence and stature, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today pitched for its permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council, saying New Delhi has much to contribute to the stability and progress of Asia.

"As India continues to grow, so will its influence and stature," Lee said at a luncheon hosted by him in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

He said Singapore "looks forward to India playing a more active role in global affairs. We support India`s permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council."

Observing that India has "much to contribute to the stability and progress of Asia", Lee said, "India is an integral part of the regional architecture in Asia and is an important ASEAN dialogue partner."

He described Singapore-India relationship as comprehensive, mutually beneficial and in excellent shape and expressed confidence that the partnership will continue to strengthen and grow in the years ahead.

Singh responded by saying that India places high value to bilateral relations and that it was the start of partnership with Singapore that initiated India into opening up economic ties.