India admitted to Australia Group

Will ensure a more secure world: MEA

January 19, 2018 11:55 pm | Updated 11:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India on Friday joined the Australia Group saying that the membership will be mutually beneficial.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that India’s entry into the group which aims to prevent proliferation of biological and chemical weapons, will ensure a more secure world.

“The Australia Group decided to admit India as its 43rd participant. India would like to thank each of the participants. Its entry would be mutually beneficial and further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives,” said Spokesperson of the MEA Raveesh Kumar, praising the role of the former head of the group ambassador Jane Hardy.

Earlier, in a separate statement, the Australia Group said India’s membership will help to counter the “spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical/biological weapons.”

Show of support

Diplomats said the entry is a show of support from the international community for India’s non-proliferation records.

“India’s entry shows that our export controls and safeguards for biological and chemical agents, equipments and technologies meet the benchmarks established by the international community,” said Rakesh Sood, a former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) last year. The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a multilateral export control regime.

It is understood that the membership will also boost India’s membership bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group which is being opposed by China.

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