NSG: PM Modi is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.
Amidst PM Narendra Modi’s aggressive push for India’s entry into NSG (Nuclear Suppliers’ Group), France has come out in full support for India, even as China continues to play spoil sport.
PM Modi is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. In the meeting, Modi is expected to seek China’s support for India’s membership in NSG.
Strong backing from France:
France volunteered a statement to assert that India’s participation in nuclear control regimes will help better regulate the export of sensitive goods, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic or conventional materials and technologies.
“France considers that India’s entry into the four multilateral export control regimes (NSG, MTCR, The Australia Group, The Wassenaar Arrangement) will bolster international efforts for combating proliferation. In line with its active and long-standing support to India’s entry to the NSG as a full-fledged member, France calls on its members, who are meeting on 23 June in Seoul, to take a positive decision,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
S Jaishankar’s final push:
Meanwhile, in a final push Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is in South Korean capital Seoul ahead of the crucial NSG Plenary.
Jaishankar, who was closely monitoring the goings-on during the official-level meet of the 48-nation grouping which started on Monday, has gone to Seoul to lobby with members to boost India’s prospects of getting membership.
Roughly 20 countries are backing India’s case fully but given that the decisions in NSG are taken by consensus, India faces uphill task. But there was a degree of optimism among Indian officials which explains Jaishankar’s presence in the South Korean capital.
Support of US, Mexico & Switzerland:
PM Modi has already managed to bag the support of Mexico and Switzerland. Mexico’s backing represents a historic policy shift for the country, which has held a firm position on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for decades.
The US and many other NSG member countries have supported India’s inclusion based on its non-proliferation track record. US President Obama has welcomed India’s application to join the NSG, and re-affirmed that India is ready for membership. US has called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary.
Senior External Affairs Ministry Official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of ‘Disarmament & International Security’ division, is already in Seoul since Monday to garner support as well as explain India’s case, a government source said.
China’s ambivalent statements:
China continues to make ambivalent statements on India’s bid for NSG membership amid clear indications that it was unrelenting in its opposition. While making some right noises of playing “constructive” role on the issue of memberships of India and Pakistan, China maintained that the matter was not on the agenda of the plenary. Here too, Beijing clubbed the two sub-continental neighbours despite the marked difference in their nuclear non-proliferation track record.
India’s bid for full membership in NSG, if granted, would tip the balance of power in South Asia against Pakistan. India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few years and had formally moved its application on May 12. The NSG had granted an exclusive waiver for India in 2008 to access civil nuclear technology after China reluctantly backed India’s case based on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
(With inputs from PTI)