New Delhi, November 18: Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has endorsed India's candidacy to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). New Delhi has long been striving for a place in the top UN body. The attempts gained pace after China - a permanent member of the Council - repeatedly blocked India's bid to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar. China Calls Bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir Into 2 UTs 'Unlawful' and 'Void'.

"If there is one country which by its military strength and it's size and economic potential.. one country that has a claim on the United Nations Security Council, that is India," Abbot said, while speaking at the sidelines of an event in Delhi.

Allays Apprehensions on Quad

No country which is committed to the rule of law should be anxious about the quadrilateral grouping among India, US, Australia, and Japan, Abbott said in response to China's apparent anxiety over the strategic alliance.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Abbott described the quadrilateral as a powerful alliance among the countries that share common values and added that the grouping aims at achieving peace, security and the rule of law.

"The quad is very much an informal grouping but I think it is a powerful grouping, given that India, America, Japan, and Australia have common values and shared interests," he said.

"I don't see this is a grouping against anyone, but it certainly is a grouping for peace, security, and the rule of law. And that is its strength. It is for peace, security and the rule of law, and that is something which is good for everyone," added Abbott.

"No country which is committed to the rule of law in the international relations and no country which respects the rights of other countries, particularly the smaller countries, should be anxious about the quad," he added. In November 2017, India, the US, Australia, and Japan gave shape to the long-pending 'Quad' coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

(With agency inputs)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 18, 2019 08:40 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website