NEW DELHI (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed regional security issues and ways that India could strengthen the U.N.'s work during talks Friday with Indian leaders, officials said.
With its booming economy and growing power, India has been seeking a greater international role, including a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. It wasn't immediately clear if Ban discussed that issue in meetings Friday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna.
"We appreciate your efforts to build bridges between developing and developed countries and give voice to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people," Krishna said.
Ban and Krishna talked about security issues and how India could enhance the U.N.'s role in the region and around the world, officials said. India is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
Ban told a news conference later Friday that as a large and diverse democracy, India had much to share with countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Ban said he was "gravely alarmed" at the continuing violence in Syria, and that the continuing repression of civilians there "is totally unacceptable" and "must stop immediately." He said he hoped to accelerate the deployment of the 300 U.N. observers authorized by the Security Council.