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PM Modi wins support of Switzerland for NSG membership

In a major boost to its diplomatic push for NSG membership, India on Monday managed to win crucial support of Switzerland ahead of a key meeting of the 48-nation bloc even as the two countries agreed to step up cooperation in unearthing black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks.

Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann announced his country’s support to India’s membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after holding comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of bilateral and global issues.

Switzerland is a key member of the NSG and its support to India’s bid for membership of the elite grouping was seen as crucial in the backdrop of China harping on the need for consensus as India was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“We have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG,” Schneider-Ammann said at a joint media interaction with Modi.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister thanked the Swiss President for Switzerland’s “understanding and support” for India’s membership of the NSG. He also said combating the menace of black money and tax evasion was “shared priority” for both the countries.

The US and many other NSG member countries have supported India’s inclusion based on its non-proliferation track record.

The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.

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