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Wednesday, May 27, 1998 Published at 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK

'No place for India on Security Council'

The UN Security Council: Canada and India are competing for membership

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy says India's recent testing of nuclear weapons has all but ended that country's hopes of becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Mr Axworthy told a Canadian parliamentary committee that by testing nuclear arms, India had forfeited any claim to a permanent seat on a body created to preserve peace and security.

[ image: Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy]
Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy
Canada is one of the countries vying with India for a seat on the Security Council

Mr Axworthy also told the committee that India's actions and Pakistan's response had created the potential for a full-scale nuclear arms race in South Asia.

But Canada itself has been criticised for selling India technology that helped make its bomb programme possible.

Mr Axworthy, however, told the committee it was inappropriate to make a connection between the sale of a nuclear reactor in the 1950s and a bomb programme that began only 20 years later.

Mr Axworthy will continue to promote Canada's bid for a Security Council seat during NATO ministerial meetings scheduled for later this week.

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