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Consensus reached within MTCR for India to become member: US

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WASHINGTON (PTI): India is all set to become member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as all hurdles related to its membership have been cleared, the US has said.

However, certain formalities remain to be completed before it can be formally announced.

Member countries of MTCR "have agreed that India should be a member," a senior administration official said on Monday, adding that all the hurdles in this regard were cleared.

"There was a silent procedure that ended just, which passed successfully indicating that there is consensus for India to join the MTCR," the senior administration official said requesting anonymity.

"There are still technical procedure that may still be in play. But politically the decision has been made," the official said within a few hours after the Obama-Modi meeting at the White House.

The meeting lasted for more than two hours including a working lunch.

"Once these technical barriers are carried out, India will become a member of MTCR," the administration official said, adding that Obama in his meeting with the Prime Minister praised India's record on nuclear non-proliferation.

"China is not a member of MTCR. So China has had no opportunity to express its reservation to India's membership," the official said when asked about China's objection to India's membership to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which mostly handles nuclear non-proliferation issues.

The Indian officials, however, refrained from making any comment on the status of its membership.

"India has applied for membership to MTCR," Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said.

India becoming a member of MTCR is expected to pave the way for increased defence trade and technology transfer between India and the US. India has shown keen interest in purchasing armed drones from the US.

However, the US has not made any decision in this regard so far, the senior administration official said.

"MTCR did prevent us from certain forms of cooperation.

It would help India to continue to advance its non-proliferation leadership in the world," the US official said.

Obama and Modi, he said did talk about defence cooperation including in the field of 'Make in India' and sharing of military technology.

"There is no decision to provide India UAV," the official said.

Tags:

India  MTCR  US  Missile  UAV  Defence  Modi  Obama  
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