India on Monday formally became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said. This is the country’s first membership to a multilateral export control regime. India had applied for membership to the MTCR last year, Swarup had said on Sunday. With this membership, India can now buy high-end missile technology and state-of-the-art surveillance drones.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the documents granting India membership to the MTCR, in the presence of the ambassadors of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. “India would like to thank each of the 34 MTCR partners for their support for India’s membership,” the MEA spokesperson said on Twitter, further thanking the co-chairmen of the MTCR, Dutch Ambassador Pieter de Klerk and Luxembourg Ambassador Robert Steinmetz for “facilitating India’s accession to the regime”.
This comes four days after India failed to secure a membership to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, following opposition from China and a few other countries. At least five countries reportedly blocked India’s bid to become a member of the NSG, at a plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea. These include Ireland, Turkey, Brazil, Austria and New Zealand. Some member countries opposed India’s membership, saying it was not part of the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty. India, Pakistan, Israel and South Sudan have not signed the NPT.