India clarifies on China’s position on NSG membership

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) India on Friday clarified that a country need not be a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to become a member of the nuclear suppliers group (NSG).

“I think there is some confusion here. Even the NPT allows civil nuclear cooperation with non-NPT countries,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said during his weekly media briefing here.

He was responding to a question on a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’s comments earlier this week that the NSG accepts only signatory states to the NPT as new members.

“If there is a connection, it is between the NSG and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards and with export controls,” Swarup said.

He said that NSG member countries have to respect safeguards and export controls and nuclear supplies have to be in accordance with the NSG guidelines.

“The NSG is an ad hoc export control regime and France, which was not an NPT member for some time was a member of the NSG since it respected NSG’s objectives,” the spokesperson added.

–IANS

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