US congratulates India on joining Australia Group

Washington, Jan 23 Congratulating India on joining the Australia Group, the US today said that the latest accomplishment underscores New Delhi’s excellent non- proliferation credentials and commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

India last week gained entry into the Australia Group (AG), an important non-proliferation regime which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

“This latest accomplishment underscores the Indian government’s excellent non-proliferation credentials and commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including by regulating the trade of sensitive goods and technologies,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

“Its (India’s) accession bolsters the effectiveness of the regime’s non-proliferation efforts,” she said.

The United States congratulates India on becoming the newest member of the Australia Group, an informal forum that seeks to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, and which now counts 43 members, she said.

“India is a valued non-proliferation partner. We look forward to continuing our work with India in the Australia Group in furtherance of our shared nonproliferation goals,” Nauert said in a statement.

After the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), the membership in another of the four major export control regimes is expected to give India a leg-up in its bid to secure a berth in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has been blocked by China at the behest of Pakistan.

China is not a member of the MTCR, the WA and the AG.

Membership in the Australia Group comes months after India secured a berth in the Wassernaar Arrangement in December last year. New Delhi had bagged membership in the elite Missile Control Technology Regime (MTCR) in 2016.

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a multilateral export control regime.

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