Switzerland Backs India’s NSG Bid

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Bern:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has scored a big win for India’s bid to be admitted to the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG, a 48-member club of nuclear trading nations.

After a meeting with Mr Modi in Geneva today, Swiss President  Johann Schneider-Ammann, said, “We  have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG.”

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India has been shut out for decades from the NSG because of its refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty while it developed its nuclear technology. In the meantime, a civil nuclear agreement with the United States, signed in 2008, has given India access to foreign suppliers without giving up its arms or slowing down its nuclear programme.

This week, when Prime Minister Modi meets President Barack Obama for the seventh time in two years, they will discuss India’s route to the NSG. President Obama and his administration officials have said that they backed India’s desire to join the group, but the idea faces resistance from China.

The Prime Minister, who is visiting a series of countries currently, added Mexico and Switzerland to his itinerary because both had expressed reservations about India being included in the NSG after Delhi applied for membership last month.

Later this month, a big session of the NSG will take place in Seoul and the PM wanted to ensure that India’s lobbying was handled at the top level before its application is reviewed in detail.

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