US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster on Thursday said that Washington was working closely with partners to secure New Delhi’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
“We also expect India to join the Australia Group on chemical and biological weapons in the very near future. And, we are working closely with India and our international partners to secure India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” PTI quoted Juster as saying in his inaugural policy speech on US-India relations.
India has applied for the membership to the 48-member group which controls international nuclear trade. However, China has been opposing India’s bid on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). China’s opposition has made India’s entry into the group difficult as it is guided by the consensus principle. READ MORE
After India’s application for entry into the 48-member elite group, Pakistan too had applied with the tacit backing of Beijing.
Juster also said that the United States expects India to join export control regime Australia Group “very soon”. The Australia Group is an informal group of countries (now joined by the European Commission) established in 1985 to help member countries to identify those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons.
India is expected to soon become the member of Australia group after it joined the Wassenaar Arrangement, a global grouping that regulates transfer and access to conventional weapons and dual-use technologies.
The US envoy also said that President Donald Trump and other country leaders have made it clear that they would not tolerate cross-border terrorism or terrorist safe havens anywhere.
He also said that ‘America First’ and ‘Make in India’ are not incompatible. “Rather investing in each other’s markets will be mutually beneficial and will increase economic interactions and volume of trade,” he said.
“A number of US companies have reported increasing difficulties in conducting business in largest market in region, China. India can seize this strategic opportunity thought trade and investment to become an alternative hub for US business in Indo-Pacific region,” Juster added.
Juster insisted that it was now time for both India and the United States to make sure that the strategic partnership between both the countries is a durable partnership. “It is time to put a strategic lens on our economic relationship – just as we have done with our defense relationship,” he said.
The US envoy further said that there are few areas of collaboration between both the countries-one is Afghanistan where both India and United States have a strong interest in promoting peace, security and prosperity. “Our leaders are committed to supporting Afghanistan and helping build that country’s democratic institutions,” Juster said.
(With agency inputs)