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New Zealand PM Key to hold talks with Modi on Thursday

Vikas Swarup, ahead of NZ PM's visit, said India will tell New Zealand it had "all the credentials" to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and that it would strengthen the NPT regime.
NZ PM Key

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has on Wednesday arrived in New Delhi on a three-day India visit. He will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday, during which he is likely to seek Wellington’s support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

New Zealand was one of the countries that took the stand at the last NSG plenary in South Korea in June that no exception can be made in the case of India, a non-NPT country, while considering its membership bid of the elite group that regulates trade in atomic material, reports PTI. At the plenary, despite strong US support, China had blocked India’s bid on the ground that it was a not a signatory to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.The PM had last visited in 2011.

Ahead of the New Zealand PM’s visit, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India will tell New Zealand it had “all the credentials” to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and that it would strengthen the NPT regime.

Swarup said: “We believe that we have all the credentials to be a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and we hope that at the end of the day the 48 member grouping will see the logic of India s entry because it will only strengthen the global non- proliferation regime.”

Key, who was scheduled to arrive in Mumbai yesterday, cancelled that leg of his tour, due to a technical problem in his aircraft.

According to reports, Key will hold extensive talks with PM Modi on key bilateral issues and call on President Pranab Mukheree, apart from Delhi. He will also travel to Kochi on Thursday besides attending a business summit.

The NZ PM and his delegation will undertake a short tour of the new Cochin International Terminal and the work undertaken by the New Zealand company, Glidepath.

Key will be accompanied by members of New Zealand Parliament Mark Mitchell, Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, MP.

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