NSG Approves India Exemption

So says “AFP.”:http://www.spacewar.com/2006/080906154226.h1fxo46k.html The Indians are happy; unsurprising, given that the exemption was probably their main objective in the first place. Statements from PM Singh and India’s External Affairs Minister can be downloaded “here.”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/file_download/15

(As an aside, it’s rarely pointed out that all of this was entirely unnecessary, since India could simply have acceded to the NPT. But, you know, details…)

Anyway, a “different”:http://www.spacewar.com/2006/080906114921.yfy6uyhl.html AFP piece has a bit on the diplomatic wrangling that took place at the meeting:

Discussions had been going on since Thursday and *had broken up shortly before 2:00 am (0000 GMT) on Saturday after the Chinese delegation walked out in support of three countries — Austria, Ireland and New Zealand — holding out for a clear-cut commitment on India’s part to refrain from nuclear bomb testing.*

{snip}

There had been three main sticking points: termination of trade if India tests, no transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology and an annual review of the agreement.

But *the crunch issue appeared to be nuclear testing, since New Delhi has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.*

India had said it “remains committed to a voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing.”

*Austria said that it had one of the last countries to agree only after India made a “formal declaration” to stand by its non-proliferation commitments and uphold its moratorium on nuclear bomb tests.*

Reuters also “has”:http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSL626795620080906?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10215&sp=true some good details:

a European diplomat in the Vienna gathering said: “For the first time in my experience of international diplomatic negotiations, a consensus decision was followed by complete silence in the room. No clapping, nothing.”

“It showed a lot of us felt pressured to some extent into a decision by the Americans and few were totally satisfied.”

Obviously, the AFP piece is referencing “this statement”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/file_download/16 from Mukherjee. Here’s the most important part:

bq. We remain committed to a *voluntary, unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. We do not subscribe to any arms race, including a nuclear arms race.* We have always tempered the exercise of our strategic autonomy with a sense of global responsibility. We affirm our policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons.

How that changes anything about Indian policy, I could not say. I think there’s a “treaty”:http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/treaties/ctb.html concerning nuclear testing. But, again, details…

*Update:*

More on the diplomatic hanky-panky “here.”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1702/more-on-the-nsg-india-exemption And more on the NSG exemption “here.”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1701/nsg-india-housekeeping

2 thoughts on “NSG Approves India Exemption

  1. Prashant

    Re “all of this was entirely unnecessary, since India could simply have acceded to the NPT

    Except that would mean kissing its military nuclear programme goodbye. Not so good when you’ve two nuclear neighbours — Pakistan and China, and both have invaded you in the past.

    Reply
  2. Abhishek Misra

    “As an aside, it’s rarely pointed out that all of this was entirely unnecessary, since India could simply have acceded to the NPT

    Given that officials, scientists, spies from USA have themselves acknowledged that China built and tested nukes for Korea and Pakistan, you still believe that NPT at all is respected by P5 !!!

    Reply

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