Washington, January 28
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US President Joe Biden’s pick for the ambassador to the UN, hasn’t explicitly committed support for India to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). The former administrations of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump had publicly said that the US supported India’s bid to be a permanent member of the UNSC.
However, Thomas-Greenfield during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told lawmakers that this is a matter of ongoing discussion.
“Do you think India, Germany, Japan, should be (permanent) members (of the UN Security Council),” Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon asked during her confirmation hearing for the position of the US Ambassador to the UN.
Biden has named it as a Cabinet-ranking position. “I think there has been some discussions about them being members of the Security Council and there are strong arguments for that,” she said. “But I also know that there are others who disagree within their regions that they should be the representative of their region. That, too, is an ongoing discussion,” she said. Comprising countries like Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, the Coffee Club is against the permanent membership bid of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil. — PTI
‘China an adversary’
Linda Thomas-Greenfield has described China as a “strategic adversary and a threat” to its neighbours, asserting that her highest priority will be to push against Chinese influence in the Security Council. The US-China relations are at an all-time low. The two are engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, Covid origin, military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.
Move to rescind work authorisation for H-1B spouses withdrawn
Biden has withdrawn a Trump-era rule rescinding work authorisation for spouses of those possessing H-1B visas. Spouses of Indian professionals on H-1B visas, mostly women, are the biggest beneficiary of the Obama-era rule that gave employment authorisation cards. Soon after coming to power, the Trump administration in 2017 announced that it would rescind that rule, affecting mostly Indians.