Australia expresses ‘strong support’ for India’s NSG membership bid

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Australia on Thursday expressed its strong support for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and also reiterated its backing for New Delhi’s candidacy for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council. Australia’s support was stated in the joint statement released after an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

“Both sides reiterated their support for continued bilateral civil nuclear cooperation and their commitment to further strengthen global non-proliferation. Australia expressed its strong support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),” the statement said.

The NSG is a 48-nation grouping which regulates global nuclear commerce.

Admission of new members is done through consensus. India had formally applied for membership in May 2016. Even though India has the backing of the majority of the group’s members, China has been blocking its entry into the bloc.

Australia also reiterated its support for India’s candidacy for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council (UNSC) and India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for the 2021-22 term, it said.

During the talks, Australia also welcomed the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s strategic partnership with India.

Australia looks forward to continuing to work closely on building stronger ties between India and the IEA community, the statement said.

The two countries also vowed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of energy and environment.

They decided to progress their Energy Dialogue, which will further cooperation in areas such as pumped hydro storage, cost-effective battery technologies, hydrogen and coal gasification, adoption of clean energy technology, fly ash management technologies, and solar forecasting and scheduling.

“Both countries committed to continue to collaborate on climate change, energy security and other issues of importance to the region and wider world, especially through the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI),” the statement sa