New Zealand non-committal on support for NSG membership bid

Published: 27th October 2016 01:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2016 07:13 AM   |  A+A-


Modi with his New Zealand counterpart John Key and his wife Bronagh Key in New Delhi | shekhar yadav

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India hailed New Zealand’s “constructive approach” to its Nuclear Suppliers Group membership bid after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with his counterpart from that country,  John Key, on the issue on Wednesday.

Sources said New Zealand had showed an understanding of the energy needs of India and the importance of “predictability” in the rules of global nuclear commerce. “I am thankful to Prime Minister Key for New Zealand’s constructive approach to the consideration of India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Modi said at a joint event with Key.

However, Key remained non-committal about India’s quest to join the 48-nation NSG. “New Zealand would continue to contribute constructively to the process currently underway in the NSG to consider India’s membership,” he said. “New Zealand is committed to working with NSG members to reach a decision as soon as possible.”

There is a process underway within the NSG on the membership issue. “It reiterated its commitment to the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction including in particular nuclear weapons. Pending the global elimination of nuclear weapons, India will uphold global non-proliferation and work with partners such as New Zealand to advance nuclear disarmament,” a joint statement said.

India has held “only one country” responsible for obstructing its entry into the NSG. However, at the plenary session in Seoul New Zealand, Turkey, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland had expressed reservations on the Indian membership application as India has been the first applicant to NSG that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  


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