Its NSG bid might have failed, but India may join MTCR on June 27

New Delhi, June 26: India may become the 35th member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on Monday (June 27) when Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will be presented with the formal credentials of the country's membership.

The MTCR will be the first multilateral export control group to open its doors to India. It will be a positive story for India's diplomatic circles after China and some other nations objected to India's entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group over procedural issues that, blocking its attempt to obtain membership at the plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on June 23-24. [Why NSG membership is important for India]

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New Delhi had failed to clear the initial roadblock to enter the MTCR. After adhering to the MTCR guidelines in September 2008 as part of its commitment under 2005 talks that heralded the Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation, it made the first move by applying for its membership in June last year.

Italy had blocked India's MTCR bid

But it faced a wall as Italy blocked India's entry at the MTCR plenary meeting chaired by the Netherlands and Luxembourg in October 2015. It did so presumably to pressurise India to take a soft stand on the stay of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in Italy during their trial at the Arbitral Tribunal.

Rome cited New Delhi's lack of signing the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty which it said did not fit with the MTCR's goal of honouring all treaties pertaining to weapons of mass destruction.

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