India today thanked Germany for backing its membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group as the two countries supported each other’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed their commitment to “strengthen global non- proliferation efforts,” said a Joint Statement issued after their meeting here. “Germany welcomed India’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime. Germany also welcomed India’s intensified engagement with the other export control regimes – the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement – and expressed its support for India’s early accession to these regimes,” the statement said.
China is the only major country which has been blocking India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. China is advocating a two-step “non-discriminatory” approach for admission of countries who have not signed nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the NSG. The joint statement said both India and Germany extended “their full support to each other’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.” It said both leaders reaffirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council to make it more effective, efficient and responsive to the existing challenges to international peace and security.
They “commended the steadfast efforts of the G-4 and other reform oriented countries and groups in moving forward the discussions towards initiation of text-based negotiations on the Security Council reform agenda at the ongoing Inter- governmental Negotiations (IGN) at the UN,” it added. The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations. The statement said both sides underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and other maritime rights in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and other principles of international law, referring to the South China Sea dispute.
China claims almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea (SCS), including islands more than 800 miles from the Chinese mainland, despite objections from neighbours such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. India along with the US and many other countries have been vocal about freedom of navigation in the area as foreign trade worth over a trillion dollar move through the SCS. China in the past has opposed India taking part in the oil exploration in the SCS at the invitation of Vietnam. Modi and Merkel also attached particular importance to security, stability, connectivity and sustainable development of the blue economy in the Indian Ocean Region.
India and Germany emphasised their commitment to a stable, united, prosperous, pluralistic and peaceful Afghanistan, the statement said. They supported a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process that leads to the renunciation of violence and breaking of all ties to international terrorism and the respect for the Afghan Constitution including its human rights provisions, it said. The two sides also expressed their interest in exploring the possibilities to cooperate in their assistance to African countries. They called for a process by which concrete synergies in areas such as capacity building, vocational training, connectivity and renewable energy will be set up. “They encouraged their respective businesses to explore collaborative activities to promote trade and development in Africa,” the statement added.