New Delhi: Ahead of the nuclear trading club’s crucial meeting next week, British Premier David Cameron has assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the UK’s “firm support” for India’s NSG membership bid.
In a telephonic conversation the two leaders agreed that the “UK-India relationship was going from strength to strength, including through the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and wife Kate) to India.”
“The Prime Minister spoke to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of nuclear supplier countries that works together to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
The US too has been pushing for India’s case for NSG membership and has also written to other members of NSG to support India’s bid. Though a majority of the members of the group have supported India’s membership, the countries of China, New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria were opposed to India’s inclusion.
China maintains opposition to India’s entry, arguing that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
China wants NSG membership for its close ally Pakistan if NSG extends any exemption for India. The plenary meeting of the NSG is expected to be held in Seoul, South Korea on June 24.
Though India has been pushing for NSG membership, Indian experts also say that becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will not have any impact, positive or negative, on India’s civil nuclear programme.
The NSG is a 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.