India on Friday gained entry into the Australia Group (AG), an important non-proliferation regime which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. After the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), the membership in another of the four major export control regimes is expected to give India a boost in its bid to secure a berth in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has been blocked by China at the behest of Pakistan.
China is not a member of the MTCR, the WA and the AG.
“On 19 January 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group, the cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups,” the group said.
It decided to admit India as the group’s 43rd participant through a “consensus” decision, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Reacting to India’s entry, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it would be “mutually beneficial and to help in non-proliferation”. Kumar said membership in the Australia Group would further contribute to the international security and non-proliferation objectives.
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