Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nuclear Suppliers Group defers decision, India in uproar, New Zealand under pressure from ally

The Nuclear Suppliers Group did not reach a decision on uranium sales to India and has agreed to meet again September 4.

According to the New Zealand press our stance was slightly more hard line than the interview with ABC Australia suggested

New Zealand is holding out demanding that India sign both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Testing Ban.

Our new ally the US is keen for us to accede to the deal

In Auckland today the a US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Glyn Davies, confirmed he delivered a message to the government here asking again for New Zealand support.

He said his boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had pushed the message when she was here too.

"I mentioned it to your government," he told Fairfax Media. "Its been mentioned by much higher pay-grades than mine."

His message to New Zealand was that it was important to bring India into the nuclear fold.

"We think it is important to find ways to go forward in a transparent fashion with India as they develop nuclear energy," he said. "We think this is the way to do it.

"Its too important given the size of India's economy, given the size of its nuclear infrastructure, and its aspirations in nuclear generation, we need to find a way to embrace them in bring them into the tent."

The Times of India reports that there is much consternation in India at the failure of the talks and any further conditions on nuclear testing for example seem likely to break the fragile Indian political consensus in favour of the deal.

Finally the Times of India also has detailed comments from Goff on this issue. These seem to me also to fall short of asking for India to sign the NPT and Comprehensive Nuclear Testing Ban.

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