New Zealand will further continue to contribute to NSG constructively
India has failed to get an outright statement of the support for its bid in order to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key after the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But officials said that they were “encouraged” by the discussions they held ahead of the next NSG meeting on the issue on November 9-10.
“We held some detailed discussions on India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group in a process that New Zealand will further continue to contribute to constructively.
We will be working with NSG members on this issue and reach a decision as soon as possible,” Mr. Key said, indicating that New Zealand is also yet to change its hard-line position on only admitting signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty into the NSG, a group which further works by consensus.
Government sources have said that they were not disappointed by the outcome of this visit, however. “New Zealand has also shown an understanding of India’s clean energy needs and the importance of predictability in the global rules of nuclear commerce in further enabling the expansion of nuclear energy in India,” an official said, indicating that India’s NSG membership application will hinge on its need to keep climate change commitments.
Modi and Key had discussions and came to an understanding
Modi and Key have reached an understanding on further cooperation in the cyber security, counter-terrorism, customs, education and also food safety as well as more regular bilateral meetings.
Mr. Key repeated New Zealand’s “consistent support for India to become a member of the reformed United Nations Security Council.”
The visit comes in the run-up to a crucial NSG Consultative Group (CG) meeting to be held in Vienna specifically in order to consider whether countries that have not yet signed on to the NPT can be considered for membership. Sources have also confirmed that the meeting will be held on November 9 and 10. India’s membership bid has already failed to make headway in June this year in Seoul, but the new South Korean Chairperson of the Group had mandated the outgoing Argentine Chairperson Rafael Grossi to speak to all NSG members to discuss the way forward so that India’s case could be taken up “later this year.”
Not yet there: Diplomat
Mr. Grossi is also expected to address the CG on what his efforts in conjunction with India in order to build a consensus that have yielded so far. “We are working hard but are not there yet,” a Vienna-based diplomat said.
Also a crucial meeting will take between Chinese nuclear point person Wang Qun and MEA’s nuclear negotiator Amandeep Singh Gill, in the month of November ahead of the Vienna meet.
They will be further meeting for the second time and it was announced by President Xi Jinping during his visit for the BRICS summit earlier this month.
However, China has made it clear that it would oppose any India-specific membership process, calling instead of a 2-step procedure that would first set the criteria for non-NPT members that include Pakistan.
New Zealand is also part of a group called the New Agenda for Coalition, which work in promoting the NPT and pushes for nuclear disarmament worldwide.