New Delhi, Aug 30, 2016: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue that India is looking to work closely with the US, in a bid to secure membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
“We look forward to continue working closely with the US to secure our membership of the NSG and permanent membership of the UN Security Council,” Sushma Swaraj said.
Earlier this year, India’s attempt to become a NSG member was scuttled by a group of countries including China. Membership to the cartel will allow India to trade in nuclear material and technology.
Emphasising that India wants to take the defence cooperation with the US to the next stage of “co-production and co-development”, Sushma Swaraj said the next step was to define the benefits associated with India’s designation as a “Major Defence Partner” of the US during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America in June.
“This would spur defence industry collaboration between India and the US and help India play the desired role as a net provider of security in the region,” she said.
“We have taken some steps to strengthen our cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism as envisaged in the joint declaration issued during the last meeting of this mechanism. This would be an important element of our deliberations,” she added.
In his opening remarks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said India and the US had deepened cooperation in defence, combating cyber terrorism and in counter-terrorism.
“We hope to see our civil nuclear co-operation take shape in the form of new reactors that deliver reliable electricity to Indian households,” Kerry said.
“We are working to bring new technologies to help India meet its ambitious renewable energy targets,” he said.
Announcing that this would be the last time he was leading this dialogue, Kerry added: “I’m very confident that we’ll continue to strengthen what President Obama has called ‘defining partnership of the 21st century’.”