The New York Times reports that the Bush Administration is blocking Germany's efforts to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. One unnamed European diplomat said, "The German efforts have not met with great enthusiasm in Washington." He added (in one of the more interesting qualifiers ever employed by a diplomat), "I am using diplomatic understatement."
Germany, Japan, Brazil, and India put forward a plan for reform of the Security Council last September. While the U.S. has expressed support for a permanent seat for Japan, Condoleezza Rice has recently told German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer that other U.N. reforms take precedence over Security Council reform as far as the United States is concerned.