In a key diplomatic move, President Obama called for a permanent seat for India on the UN Security Council today. In a speech to the country’s Parliament, Obama fulfilled the country’s top wish for his visit, the AP reports, though it does not mean that India will join the five permanent Security Council members anytime soon. The US is backing India's membership only in the context of unspecified reforms to the council that could take years to bring about; still, the move demonstrates an effort to forge closer ties with India.
The president’s trip has spurred $14.9 billion in deals between American and Indian companies, which will support 53,670 US jobs, the White House said. At some $9.5 billion, the US export portion of the deals won’t make a major dent in America’s trade deficit, but the deals acknowledge India as a key global market. “A two-way street between the US and India has started," said an Indian official.