PM Narendra Modi may raise issue of entry into NSG to New Zealand PM John Key on his India visit

New Zealand, which is a member of NSG and has a traditional strong position on nuclear non-proliferation, has been one of those countries which had expressed reservations on India’s application.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: October 24, 2016 8:28 am
modi, narendra modi, New Zealand PM, John Key, nsg membership, india news Besides the NSG issue, the two countries will also be discussing the prospect of finalising a free-trade deal, which has been under negotiations for the last six years. (Source: File)

When New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visits India next week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to raise the issue of India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). New Zealand, which is a member of the 48-member NSG and has a traditional strong position on nuclear non-proliferation, has been one of those countries which had expressed reservations on India’s application. New Zealand’s argument is based on the fact that India, being a non-NPT signatory, cannot be allowed to become a member of the NSG unless a decision is taken on the criterion for new members.

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Although President Pranab Mukherjee had visited New Zealand earlier this year, but the country has stuck to its stand.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday, “Our credentials are very much known…we hope the NSG will see the logic in letting us be a part of the grouping. I assume that this is an important issue and I would only imagine that the issue will be discussed (during the bilateral meeting).”

Officials said Delhi will raise the issue about its non-proliferation credentials, as well as its need to access high technology. This will be one of the key areas of conversation when Key visits India from October 24 to 27.

He will start his trip from Mumbai, then come to Delhi, and on his return, will stop by in Kochi. Key will spend four days here, along with 35 business representatives, trying to boost economic, political and security connections with India.

Early this week, Key said the NSG issue will almost certainly be raised in official talks, with the argument made that India needs a sustainable alternative to coal power and is a stable democracy.

“Our perspective is to acknowledge all of those things, but just to simply say that if you admit any country to the
nuclear suppliers group, then you have to be able to back that up and why you allowed it,” said Key.

“And there are other countries — not just India – that want to join,” he added, in his remarks before the India trip.

New Delhi would like to make a distinction between it’s case and that of other applicant, Pakistan. There is a
possibility of a presentation by Indian interlocutors who are experts on disarmament issues.

Besides the NSG issue, the two countries will also be discussing the prospect of finalising a free-trade deal, which has been under negotiations for the last six years. “But it isn’t yet over the line — India is protective of
its market in agricultural products and loathe to drop tariffs,” a New Zealand government official said.

The two sides will also discuss ways and means to boost the two-way trade. In 2011, the two countries had set a target of two-way trade to be worth $2 billion, but that target was missed last year.

However, a report by former New Zealand High Commissioner Graeme Waters, for the Asia New Zealand Foundation and released over the weekend, suggests that the two countries’ trade future lies not in goods but services, such as IT, fashion design, film making and aviation.

India is also New Zealand’s second-largest source of international students. The trade in services has actually
more than doubled to $1.23 billion since 2011. Key will be accompanied by MPs Mark Mitchell and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi during his visit.

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First Published on: October 24, 2016 2:00 am
  1. M
    MyTake
    Oct 24, 2016 at 3:41 am
    If Olympians are stripped of their medals, when down the track they found to have used drugs in the past, why China can't be stripped of its memebership of NSG for its earlier/current help to stan to go nuclear??
    Reply
    1. R
      Romik
      Oct 24, 2016 at 1:46 am
      Ab China ko chabi do!
      Reply
      1. A
        Anand Prakash
        Oct 24, 2016 at 7:35 am
        I don't see why the present government is making such an issue about NSG membership - possibly, to give feku a feather in his cap given that he has nothing of worth to show after close to three years in power.
        Reply
        1. A
          Anand Prakash
          Oct 24, 2016 at 7:34 am
          The majority didn't vote for feku - the BJP got only 31% of the vote share. Get your facts right before making a troll type comment.
          Reply
          1. J
            JayHind
            Oct 24, 2016 at 1:36 am
            Also
            Reply
            1. J
              JayHind
              Oct 24, 2016 at 1:35 am
              YEH YEH TELL YOUR FRIENDS OBHAMA AND PING LING
              Reply
              1. B
                BharatK
                Oct 24, 2016 at 11:35 am
                Name is Anand Prakash, but we see no prakash of any happiness. Come out of your negative and hateful mind, and become a real happy person.
                Reply
                1. B
                  Buddy
                  Oct 24, 2016 at 9:23 am
                  BJP won by majority and is Modi is the chosen by the people of India. We have voted for BJP. so how many votes your khangis get by the way?
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Ashok Mazumdar
                    Oct 24, 2016 at 2:57 am
                    NSG membership may be a Distant Dream, unless, we make China to Agree.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      mathimathi
                      Oct 24, 2016 at 5:46 am
                      Feku must go for a burgical bike on dragons china to get NSG
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        appu
                        Oct 24, 2016 at 6:06 am
                        Not sure who you are or your credentials but you have for no reason belittling someone who is voted by the people of this country. Basically, you are trying to say, you or few like you are better than the majority who voted for. All of us should have some decency with regard to matters that relate to the nation; after all, this is the only nation we have!
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Shelley
                          Oct 25, 2016 at 8:48 am
                          What nonsense! The German people voted for Hitler! Does that make Hitler great?
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Shelley
                            Oct 25, 2016 at 8:49 am
                            What nonsense! The German people voted for Hitler! Does that make Hitler great? 2000 innocent people were butchered in Gujarat on Modi's watch. I shall never forgive him.
                            Reply
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