India gains Mexico backing on NSG

He said both the countries have agreed to work and develop a \'roadmap of concrete outcomes\' to upgrade ties to a strategic partnership.

Published: 10th June 2016 12:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2016 12:24 AM   |  A+A-

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Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi speaks during a joint statement to the press along with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in the Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City. |AP

NEW DELHI: Inching closer to join elite Nuclear Supplier Group, India on Thursday got backing of Mexico after US and Switzerland supported the move ahead of crucial meeting of the 48-nation nuclear trading bloc in Vienna.

However, on the other side Pakistan is working overtime with China not only to scuttle India’s candidature to the crucial NSG but also rally support for itself. While Pakistan has made a case for itself by citing its "technical experience, capability and well-established commitment to nuclear safety", it has also opposed membership for India saying that it "could affect the strategic stability of South Asia."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Mexico in last leg of his five nation visit, held talks with Maxican President Enrique Pena Nieto on deepening cooperation on various issues with major focus on gaining support on NSG membership.

"Mexico recognises India's bid to be part of the NSG. As a country, we are going to be positively and constructively supporting India's request in recognition of the commitment by Prime Minister Modi to the international agenda of disarmament and non proliferation of nuclear weapons," Nieto said at a joint media interaction with Modi.

On his part, the Prime Minister Modi thanked the Mexican President for his country's support and called Mexico an important partner for India's energy security.

He said both the countries have agreed to work and develop a "roadmap of concrete outcomes" to upgrade ties to a strategic partnership.

He added: "We both feel that our growing convergence on international issues allows us to join our capacities to strengthen international regimes of strategic importance. I thank President Pena Nieto for Mexico's positive and constructive support for India's membership of the NSG."

Modi on Monday visited Switzerland, another key member of the NSG, and the European country - known to have strong proliferation concerns - had announced its support to India's candidature at the bloc that looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.

Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.

A meeting of the NSG later today in Vienna is scheduled to discuss India's membership application which will be followed by another meeting on June 24 in Seoul.

India has been reaching out to NSG member countries seeking support to its membership.

China has been opposing India's membership at the premier club, arguing that it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The US has been strongly supporting India and asked various NSG members to support New Delhi's bid.

The issue had figured prominently during talks between Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.

The US and many other NSG member countries have supported India's inclusion based on its non-proliferation track record.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India will scuttle its bid.

India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few years and had formally moved its application on May 12.

Modi and Nieto stressed the necessity of developing a greater connectivity between the two countries and encouraging cooperation in various sectors including infrastructure, pharmaceutical, energy, automobile, Information and Communication Technology, agriculture, and food processing among others.

It said the two sides agreed to explore ways and means to boost the objectives of the International Solar Alliance.


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