India set to get MTCR membership, NSG option remains open: MEA

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Close on the heels of a setback on the issue of membership into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India on Sunday said it is all set to get into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on Monday and that joining the NSG may take “slightly longer”.

“In the past also, we (India) have tried to get membership into restrictive regimes so to speak. We had applied membership into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and MTCR. At that time, many people said we will never get it. We had applied 10 years back,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

He said “this week alone”, India got membership into SCO and on Monday “we are going to become full members of MTCR”.

“As I said, there are some processes which take longer (time). I will evaluate the NSG membership process in that catageory,” he said.

The MTCR seeks to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500kg payload for at least 300 km.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is likely to sign the document of accession into MTCR in the presence of Ambassadors of France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on Monday.

Swarup, admitting that India “did not get the desired result” at Seoul vis-a-vis NSG, added: “Probably it will take slightly longer.”

Official sources said NSG is likely to meet again before the end of the year to discuss membership of non-NPT signatories like India.

On Friday, India had failed to seek entry into the NSG at the plenary meet in Seoul primarily due to technical objections raised by China.

Much to India’s discomfort, China’s objections also got support from a few other members like South Africa, Norway, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey.

India has blamed China for the same as the set back in Seoul came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a 45-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Tashkent.

Sources on Sunday claimed at the suggestion of countries like Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of NSG should be held before the end of the 2015.

Swarup also said: “We will keep impressing upon China that mutual accommodation of interests, concerns and priorities is necessary to move forward bilateral ties.”

His comments assume significance as Beijing also said that its opposition to India at NSG will not impact bilateral ties adversely.

“Today, the Indian diplomacy doesn’t have fear of failure. If we don’t get desired results it only means that we redouble our efforts. There are some processes which take longer,” Swarup said.



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