WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jun 16, 2018, 03.24 PM
A host of issues were discussed at two-day NSG meet in Latvia. Latvia assumed chairmanship of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for 2018-2019. At the NSG Plenary Meeting in Jūrmala, Latvia’s chairmanship was launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs last week. Latvia is the first Baltic State to chair the NSG.
The meet discussed India's NSG membership. In a statement, NSG said it "continued to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India. Group also noted that discussions were continuing on the issue of “technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of Non-NPT states in the NSG” initiated at the 2016 Seoul Plenary.
Remember this was the first NSG meet since India got admitted into three out of four export control regimes. There are four export control regimes --MTCR, Australia group, Wassenaar arrangement & NSG. China has been opposing India's membership at NSG. Ironically China is not part of other 3 export control regimes. With recent high-level engagement between India and China at Wuhan and at SCO summit experts hope that some movement can happen. Indian PM is again expected to meet Chinese Prez Xi Jinping in South Africa during the BRICS summit next month. The approval of a candidacy for the NSG chairmanship requires the consensus of all 48 Participating Governments.
Latvia Backs Indian Membership
Latvia, the current chair of NSG, backs India's entry into the group. Last year, Prime Minister of Latvia, Māris Kučinskis had visited India from 2-6 November 2017.
In a statement in 2016, Latvia had said: "Latvia wishes that an open debate is held between the participating governments of the Nuclear Support Group that would result in the definition of clear criteria for participation decisions".
On 16 June 2016, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, had a telephone conversation with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in which both Ministers discussed bilateral cooperation between the countries, including India’s membership the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
NSG also discussed the North Korean Nuclear issue. The group said that it "noted with encouragement the recent Inter-Korean summits and the DPRK-US summit." But added North Korea must abandon all nuclear weapons & existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Participating Governments noted the developments in the DPRK since the 2017 NSG Plenary in Bern, and reconfirmed their commitment to the United Nations Security Council resolutions 2371(2017), 2375(2017), 2397(2017) and previous relevant UNSC resolutions.
On Iran, Participating Governments reconfirmed their commitment to the UNSCR 2231(2015). United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231is a resolution endorsing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear program of Iran. Since the last Plenary in Switzerland, the NSG continued to receive briefings from the JCPOA Procurement Working Group Coordinator, regarding the work of the Procurement Channel. Participating Governments expressed interest in receiving further briefings.
#NSG dscs North Korea's Nuclear issue & Iran Deal
"noted with encouragement the recent Inter-Korean summits and the DPRK-US summit."