The New Zealand on Wednesday committed to contribute “constructively” to the process leading to India’s membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Even though the commitment, made by visiting Kiwi prime minister John Key, during his bilateral discussions with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi is here is seen as alteration in the New Zealand’s opposition to India’s entry into the club, but it is also seen not a firm assurance to help India’s bid to enter into the elite club so soon. At the last NSG plenary meeting, it had teamed up with China, South Africa, Ireland, Turkey and Austria, to oppose India, raising the issue of its not signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Official sources here said New Zealand showed understanding of India’s clean energy needs and the importance of predictability in global rules on nuclear commerce in enabling the expansion of nuclear energy in India.
“There is a process underway within the NSG on the membership issue. New Zealand conveyed that it would be constructively engaged on India’s membership of the NSG and would work with the others in the NSG,” they said.
Referring to the ongoing ODI series between the two countries, Modi said some cricketing terms were apt description of the progress made in the two countries’ bilateral ties. “In a little while from now, our cricket teams will take the field in Ranchi for the fourth one-day international. In many ways, some of the cricketing terminology reflects progress in our bilateral linkages. In our ties, we have moved from fielding at long off to taking a fresh guard at the batting pitch. Defensive play has given way to aggressive batting,” Modi said. Key quipped that he is thankful to Modi for not raising his country’s poor performance in the series so far. New Zealand were whitewashed 0-3 in the Test series and are trailing in the ongoing five-match ODI series as well. “You have spoken about the cricket taking place in India but gracious enough not to be talking about the fact that India has been triumphing over New Zealand,” Key said in a lighter vein.
The two sides also inked three pacts including one pertaining to Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and decided to establish Foreign Minister-level dialogue as well as exchanges on cyber issues. On security and counter-terrorism ties, Modi said they have agreed to strengthen security and intelligence cooperation against terrorism and radicalisation, including in the domain of cyber security.
Identifying food processing, dairy and agriculture, and related areas in their supply chain as some of the areas of particular potential for bilateral cooperation, Modi said New Zealand’s strength and capacity in these sectors can combine with India’s vast technology needs to build partnerships that can benefit both the societies. India has been revising double taxation avoidance pacts with countries with a view to check tax evasion and bring them in line with OECD norms.
Source: DNA India