India still upbeat despite NSG block, calls for 'early decision' on its application

India still upbeat despite NSG block, calls for

Submitted by Kumuda on Fri, 2016-06-24 14:50 Tashkent: With the two-day plenary meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) remaining inconclusive regarding India's fate in the elite organisation on Friday, New Delhi remained buoyant asserting that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest and India's participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. Speaking to ANI here, Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by 'one country', a three hour long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG, in which an overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India's membership and appraised India's application positively. "We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward," he said. Stating that India's membership had been discussed within the NSG at every plenary meeting since 2011, Swarup said that an early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed India to move forward on the Paris Agreement. Talking about China's claim that India needs to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) first before joining the NSG, he added that there is no contradiction between the NPT and India's closer engagement with the NSG. "It is also our understanding that most countries want an early decision. A few countries raised issues regarding the process for India's participation in the NSG. It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation. This is corroborated by our own bilateral engagement with each of these countries," Swarup said. Asserting that India believes that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest, the spokesperson said that India's participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure, adding that it would also advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change. "We are confident that the NSG will recognize these benefits as it deliberates further on this issue," he added. Earlier today, China said that the NSG will not discuss its membership bid into the elite group, adding that New Delhi will first have to sign the NPT, as it is a must and a major criteria set up by the NSG. Speaking to ANI in Seoul, Director-General of the Arms Control Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Qun asserted that India's membership has 'never ever' been on the agenda of the NSG and that there is no such agenda item for the two-day plenary, adding that there is no point of China opposing or supporting India as well as the membership of other countries. "One thing is clear that India's membership has never ever been taken up as an agenda item. In the two plenary sessions, there was no extraordinary session on this matter. There is no such agenda matter. In the caveat there could be observations and interventions but that's all," he said. Earlier, highly placed sources told ANI that China is not the sole opponent to India's member ship to the NSG, but Brazil, Austria, Ireland, Turkey and New Zealand too have opposed India's entry, citing it's not being a signatory of the NPT for nuclear weapons and weapons technology. Meanwhile, on a day on mixed developments for India Canada and Braxil have extended their complete support to New Delhi. According to sources, Brazil today supported India's bid but called for a common criteria for all non-NPT states. Brazil also said that India has by far a better nuclear proliferation record than Pakistan However, in a complete shocker, Switzerland, who had earlier extended its complete support, has now opposed New Delhi's bid citing it being a non NPT state. This comes as a jolt for India as earlier, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Switzerland, the European nation had extended its complete support. (ANI)