India’s hopes of entering the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) brightened as Mexico extended support to New Delhi’s membership to the exclusive club during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country.
“President Enrique Pena Nieto @EPN says Mexico supports positively and constructively India’s membership of the NSG,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Modi thanked the Mexican President for the support.
The Mexican support comes just in time as the 48-member NSG has called an “extraordinary” plenary meeting on Thursday when it is expected to take up for review India’s application for membership to the elite club that regulates global nuclear trade.
India submitted its application in early May to become a member.
On June 6, Switzerland, an important member of the NSG, extended support to India’s membership in the group during Modi’s stopover in Geneva.
India also got strong backing from the US for NSG membership with President Barack Obama extending support during Modi’s visit to Washington on Tuesday.
Both Switzerland and Mexico had earlier expressed strong reservations on India’s application for becoming a member of the elite export control regime due to India being a non-signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
India has already got the support of major NSG countries, including France, Russia and Britain.
China, a major NSG member, is still holding out, citing that India needs to sign the NPT.
India has not signed the NPT on the ground that it is discriminatory.
Pakistan has also applied to become a member of the club, and is being backed by China.
The US has been trying to convince China to support India’s bid, and US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Beijing to try and get round China’s reservations on supporting India.
“Hola MÃ©xico! PM @narendramodi lands in Mexico city for an important evening of diplomacy,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had tweeted.
Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu was present at the airport to receive Modi.
Ruiz Massieu was in New Delhi in March this year and in a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, both leaders explored the possibility of taking bilateral relations to a higher level.
This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to Mexico after then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit in 2012 for the G20 Summit.
Modi will hold bilateral talks with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during which the issue of India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is expected to come up.
On June 6, Switzerland, an important member of the NSG, extended support to India’s membership in the group during Modi’s stopover in Geneva en route to the US from Qatar.
Bilateral investments will be a major focus during the talks in Mexico.
Two-way trade between India and Mexico stands at around $6 billion.
Within Asia, India is the largest importer of crude oil from Mexico.
India’s major exports to Mexico include pharmaceutical products and automobile parts.
According to India’s Ambassador to Mexico Muktesh Pardeshi, there are 50 Indian companies in Mexico which have created around 10,000 jobs.