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Modi secures Mexico's backing for India's NSG bid

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09 June 2016

Mexico has offered to support India in its bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) the key 49-member bloc whose members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology.

 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mexican President Enrique Peaa Nieto, in Mexico on 8 June 2016  

The Mexican President announced his country's support to India's bid for membership of the elite club after holding wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mexico City on a range of bilateral and global issues.

''Mexico supports positively and constructively India's membership of the NSG,'' Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said at a joint media interaction with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The announcement comes ahead of a plenary meeting of the NSG, due later this month.

Leaders of the two countries also resolved to define the path of the India-Mexico Privileged Partnership for the 21st Century that allows the growth of bilateral relations in the economic field, in science and technology and in the most important issues of the global agenda reflecting a broad convergence of long-term political, economic and strategic goals.

On his part, the Prime Minister thanked Mexico for its support and called the country an important partner for India's energy security.

''We are looking to move beyond buyer-seller relationship and into a long-term partnership... We have agreed to develop a roadmap of concrete outcomes to upgrade our ties to a Strategic Partnership,'' said the Prime Minister who arrived here earlier in the day from Washington on the last leg of his five-nation tour.

In their talks, Modi and Nieto explored ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in a number of key areas, including in trade and investment, information technology, climate change and energy.

Mexico is a key member of the NSG and its support to India's bid for entry into NSG is seen as important. Modi had visited Switzerland, another key member of the NSG, before travelling to the US, and the European country - known to have strong proliferation concerns - had announced its support to India's candidature for the atomic trading club.

Support of Mexico and Switzerland is seen as important in the wake of China opposing India's NSG membership arguing that it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The issue had figured prominently during talks between Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.

The US and many other NSG member countries have supported India's inclusion based on its non-proliferation track record.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India will scuttle its bid.

India has been pushing for membership of the bloc for last few years and had formally moved its application on 12 May.

The NSG had earlier 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.

The issue of India's admission in the NSG is expected to come up during the high level annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue between US and China which begins tomorrow.

India's NSG membership issue comes at a time of deepening divisions between China and the US over the disputed South China Sea.

Billed as the most comprehensive dialogue between the world's two largest economies, it will be attended by top officials from both sides, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.





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