UK to Unconditionally Back India's Bid For NSG Membership


New Delhi, Sept. 28: The UK would be giving its unconditional support to India’s bid for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership as the latter has done enough for an entry into the elite group which is responsible for international nuclear commerce, said a report on Friday. Diplomatic sources told the daily, following a dialogue between the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and UK’s foreign and commonwealth office, that the UK saw India as a key member of the international rules-based order.

Despite China’s opposition, Indian hopes are buoyed by the US emphasis on securing an early membership for India at the recent 2+2 dialogue. India was, last month, elevated to the US’ tier-1 of licence exception for export of sensitive defence and high-end technologies and the move was seen as a reaffirmation of US support to its bid. “India has the right credentials for NSG membership and we believe it should be a member. Only the Chinese can explain what objections they have to India’s membership,” said a diplomatic source after the meeting.

Meanwhile, during the talks on proliferation and international security, India raised the issue of proliferation linkages between Pakistan and North Korea. However, the UK reportedly said there was no reason to worry about Pakistan’s current behaviour on the issue. The UK also reportedly expressed disappointment over India’s decision in June this year to vote against a UK-backed proposal for ‘Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use’.

“We were disappointed to see India among the 24 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) member countries, along with Russia, who voted against it but we hope India will review its position,” said the source. While 82 OPCW countries had reportedly voted in favour of the UK draft decision which allows the chemical weapon watchdog to fix blame for attacks
using chemical substances, India had reiterated its position that it was against the use of chemical weapons “anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances”.


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