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U.S. to Lobby for Indian Entry to Export-Control Groups, Report Says

The United States is expected to support Indian representation on a number of key export control organizations, possibly bolstering the South Asian country's influence over trade rules for weapon-sensitive equipment and its own ability to import such items, the Times of India reported today (see GSN, Oct. 28).

Groups to which India could gain access include the Wassennaar Arrangement, a 40-nation organization dedicated to controlling the international flow of conventional weaponry and technologies with military applications, according to the Times. New Delhi might also participate in the Australia Group, which aims to counter the spread of chemical and biological weapons.

Joining the organizations would commit New Delhi to abide by their regulations, possibly reducing the number of nations to which it could sell controlled items.

Washington is likely to push for eventual Indian inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, but the 46-nation export organization would first have to establish a regulatory pathway for New Delhi to join without signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the newspaper reported.

The nuclear-armed South Asian state hopes to join Nuclear Suppliers Group in case the organization moves to confine sales of enrichment and reprocessing technology to its own membership, according to the Times (see GSN, May 6, 2008; Indrani Bagchi, Times of India, Nov. 2).

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