Amidst stiff opposition by China to India’s entry into NSG, France on Wednesday strongly backed New Delhi’s case, saying it will bolster global efforts against nuclear proliferation and asking the members states to take a “positive decision” in the Seoul plenary meeting.
A key member of the 48-nation grouping, France also asserted that India’s participation in nuclear control regimes will help better regulate the export of sensitive goods, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic or conventional materials and technologies.
“France considers that India’s entry into the four multilateral export control regimes (NSG, MTCR, The Australia Group, The Wassenaar Arrangement) will bolster international efforts for combating proliferation.
“India’s participation in these bodies will help better regulate the export of sensitive goods, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic or conventional materials or technologies.
“In line with its active and long-standing support to India’s entry to the NSG as a full-fledged member, France calls on its members, who are meeting on 23 June in Seoul, to take a positive decision,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry also mentioned that strategic partners since 1998, France and India share common goals regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
These goals were reaffirmed during the visit of the President of the French Republic to India, from 24 to 26 January 2016, it added. The French President was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations here.
On Tuesday, the US White House had in a statement said India was “ready” for NSG membership and asked participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of NSG in Seoul starting tomorrow.
China maintains opposition to India’s entry, arguing that it has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, it has been batting for its close ally Pakistan’s entry if NSG extends any exemption for India.
India has asserted that being a signatory to the NPT was not essential for joining the NSG as there has been a precedent in this regard, citing the case of France.