Washington: Congratulating India on joining the Australia Group, the United States has said that it underscores New Delhi’s excellent non-proliferation credentials.
“This latest accomplishment underscores the Indian government’s excellent non-proliferation credentials and commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including by regulating the trade of sensitive goods and technologies,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert has said.
“Its (India’s) accession bolsters the effectiveness of the regime’s non-proliferation efforts,” she added.
“India is a valued non-proliferation partner. We look forward to continuing our work with India in the Australia Group in furtherance of our shared nonproliferation goals,” Nauert further said in a statement.
The Australia Group on January 19, 2018, had admitted India as the 43rd member through a consensus decision. “On 19 January 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG), the cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups,” it had said said in a release.
AG is the third export control group India has joined. It is already a member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.
Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India’s entry into the elite nuclear clubs, including AG, had reaffirmed the country’s non-proliferation credentials.
“Over the last two years, India’s membership of MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group reaffirms India’s strong non-proliferation credentials and also our commitment to global peace and security,” he had tweeted.
He had also thanked Australia and other members of the AG for supporting India’s entry in the club.
On the other hand, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Ravish Kumar had said that it would be “mutually beneficial and to help in non-proliferation”.
He had added that the membership in the AG would further contribute to the international security and non-proliferation objectives.
“India would like to thank each of the AG participants for their support for India’s membership. We would also like to thank Ambassador Jane Hardy of Australia, former Chair of the Australia Group, for her role in facilitating India’s accession to the Group,” Kumar had said.
India had secured a berth in the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2017 and had bagged membership in MTCR in 2016.