China not opposing India’s NSG membership bid: Govt

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New Delhi | Updated: June 20, 2016 12:46:04 AM

The government on Sunday said it is confident of becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year. The 48-nation elite club will be meeting in Seoul, South Korea next week.

indo-pak relations, indo-pak talks, narendra modi nawaz sharif, narendra modi nawaz sharif meeting, Modi-Sharif initiative, indo pak bilateral relations, indo pak bilateral issues, indo pak bilateral talks, Pakistan most favoured nationExternal affairs minister Sushma Swaraj (left) with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, recently

The government on Sunday said it is confident of becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year. The 48-nation elite club will be meeting in Seoul, South Korea next week.

Responding to media queries at her annual press conference, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said, “China is not opposing India’s NSG membership bid but is talking only about the criteria and procedures to be adopted for membership.”

She said India was hopeful China would back India at the NSG meeting. The statement comes in the backdrop of foreign secretary’s unannounced visit to Beijing on June 16-17, which is seen as an attempt to seek Chinese support.

While asserting India is not going to oppose entry of any nation to the NSG, the minister expressed hope that by the end of this year, India will become a member of the 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

“We have been engaged with the NSG for the past 12 years and there have been talks of our membership with the group for the last five years. But the situation is different this year. Our argument is that we got the waiver in 2008 and before that the criteria and the process was decided and based on that criteria only we got the waiver. I think instead of talking about criteria with respect to our bid, our credentials and our track record should be discussed,” she added.

Highlighting the achievements of her ministry under Modi-led government in last two years, Sushma Swaraj discussed India’s relationship with the US, Pakistan and other Saarc countries the external affairs minister said that government’s global outreach-driven foreign policy has had many benefits.

In an hour-long press conference, responding to medi questions in Hindi, Swaraj said that “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) does not come sitting at home.” “Aaj jab Bharat bolta hai, duniya sunti hai (Today when India speaks, the world listens).”

The minister said since the Modi government took charge in May 2014, there had been a substantial FDI inflow. As much as $55 billion or R369,000 crore has come through the FDI route in the last two years. It is about a 43 % jump over what it was during the UPA rule.”

In her opening remarks she said the foreign outreach had helped India enlist assistance of global players like the US, France, Germany and England in flagship schemes like ‘Smart Cities’.

“With Australia alone, we had 13 agreements on skill development,” she said, adding there had been cooperation with countries such as Germany and Japan for ‘Namami Ganga’ programme.

“There are 65 countries remaining to be reached out to with personal visits, which we will complete by December 2016,” the minister said.

According to her, the government has decided to reach out to all countries in the world with help of state governments and cabinet ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a matter of 10 months successfully covered UAE, Saudi Arab, Iran and Qatar for better economic ties, she said.

In the past two years, “We visited all Saarc nations, we also had high-level contacts with Africa, Gulf, the Arab league among others, at the highest level.

Referring to India’s relation with the US, she said, “Our engagement with US has increased but not on the cost of nation’s interest. We also stage protest against them as and when required.”

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