US reaffirms support to India’s membership bid to elite Nuke club
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 28-Jul-2017

Washington, July 28: Though the administration is changed in the United States, its support to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid continues. The United States on Thursday reaffirmed its support and cooperation to India's membership bid to NSG and called on others of the elite grouping to back New Delhi's application.

 
 
Notably, the US Department of Defence and Department of State have submitted a joint report to the Congress, in which it has reiterated the support by the United States towards the inclusion of India in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

"The United States welcomed India's application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for the membership. The United States has called on NSG members to support India's application," the Department of Defence and Department of State said in a joint report.

In the report submitted to Congress as required under National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2017, the Trump administration also re-affirmed its support for India's membership in the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement as soon as India meets each group's membership criteria.

The US and India share a commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, the report said. "Since 2010, the US has supported India's membership in the four multilateral export control regimes i.e Wassenaar Arrangement, NSG, Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime as India is prepared to take the steps required for membership in each one," it said.

The US, the report said, welcomed India as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime and its subscription to the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation in June 2016.

The report notes that the future leadership of Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) will consist of an individual with experience in defence acquisition and technology to reinforce and ensure the success of the US-India Defence Relationship. This individual will help resolve remaining issues impeding bilateral defence trade and other cooperation, it said.

The NDAA for FY 2017 also directs the Department to reorganize the Office of the USD (AT&L) into two new Under Secretary positions — one for Research and Engineering (USD (R&E)) and one for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD (A&S)).

"This change will take effect no later than February 2018. The organizational responsibility for DTTI will be determined as part of the reorganization of AT&L; however, this determination will not affect DTTI's ongoing work," the report said.

The US defence industry has provided India with proposals for F-16 Block 70 and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft, the report said. "These proposals will help create and maintain jobs in both countries and demonstrate the depth of our commitment to defence cooperation," it said.

"The Major Defence Partner designation reflects the readiness of the United States to facilitate the export of goods and technologies for projects, programs, and joint ventures in support of official US-India defence cooperation," said the report.

Recently, a plenary meeting of the NSG was held in Bern which mainly discussed India's membership bid and decided to hold another meeting in November to discuss the issue.

 

India has applied for the membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which controls international nuclear trade since 2010. But, New Delhi is pushing hard to get the membership of NSG since Narendra Modi led government came power. But due to China’s strong oppose and two-step non-discriminatory approach not letting India gain the membership as India has not signed Non-Proliferation Treaty. On the other side, seeing India heading towards NSG membership Pakistan has also demanded NSG membership without signing NPT.

However, many of the other countries including US, Japan, Switzerland, South Africa etc have already given access to India to get the membership in NSG. Importantly, Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Whereas, NPT is commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.