Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Wassenaar Arrangement decides to make India its member

Wassenaar Arrangement decides to make India its member

India will become its 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining are completed, the group said in a statement after its plenary meeting in Vienna on Thursday. "One more recognition, after admission into (Missile Technology Control Regime or) MTCR of the growing role India plays in today's world", Alexandre Ziegler, France's ambassador to India, posted on Twitter.

However, in the latest development, according to a report by The Hindu, Russia's foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said that the political committee of the 41-member Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is likely to decide on India's membership request, and said he hoped for some "positive action, fingers crossed".

Membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement is also expected to build up a strong case for India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group - a 48-member group which controls the export of nuclear materials, equipment and technology.

India's membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement partly hinged on a lack of consensus, with Italy having objected to New Delhi's participation until the two countries repaired their bilateral relationship this year following a multiple-year spat over the fate of two Italian marines who killed two Indian fishermen in 2012. The members are now in Austria's capital Vienna.

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The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) admitted India as a member in June 2016. "Some controls were relaxed, such as for mechanical high-speed cameras and digital computers", the Wassenaar Arrangement said.

Since its founding in 1996, the Arrangement has become an important component of the global nonproliferation regime, with member states exchanging information on their transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods to states outside of the arrangement. China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls worldwide nuclear commerce. The guidelines of the organization prohibit its members to enter into nuke ties with the countries that did not sign the NPT.

"We recognise that at the moment there is no unanimity on Pakistan's application and that the same can not be interlinked with India's", said Ryabkov, after his meeting with Jaishankar. China argued that if the "NPT signatory" criterion was diluted to admit India into the NSG, it should also open up the door for other "non-NPT" countries, including Pakistan.

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