UN reforms, counter-terror, NPT part of Indo-German talks

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Monday spoke of "signs" that India "could be" prepared to sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) but did not elaborate.

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010, 21:35 PM IST

New Delhi: German Foreign Minister Guido
Westerwelle on Monday spoke of "signs" that India "could be"
prepared to sign Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) but did
not elaborate.

At a press conference, he noted that Germany would like
to encourage India to move even closer to international non-
proliferation system and said "we are encouraged by signs that
India could be prepared to sign the CTBT. That will be a very
important step forward to our German position."

The minister made these remarks towards conclusion of his
interaction with journalists but left before he could be
questioned for the basis of his comments.

Westerwelle, who is here on a three-day visit, met Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and held talks with his Indian
counterpart S M Krishna.

Noting that India was not a member of Non-proliferation
Treaty, he said "we acknowledge its efforts to support non-
proliferation." However, he said it was up to Indian
government to make its position clear on these issues.

Germany supported the waiver granted for India by Nuclear
Suppliers Group in September 2008 for world atomic commerce.

Though India adheres to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear
testing, it has refused to sign CTBT, terming it as
discriminatory.

However, when asked why is it that on one hand Germany
wants India to sign CTBT and on the other it supplies defence
and other equipments to it, the Minister said "these are two
different matters."

"I am very much convinced that we Germans have the best
products and reliable and it has nothing to do (with other
issue," he said.

The minister said India and Germany have decided to stay
in "close contact" and work with other G-4 members--Japan and
Brazil-- to impart fresh momentum to their efforts for reforms
of the UN Security Council as both sides discussed ways to
strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Both India and Germany were recently elected as
non-permanent members of UNSC for two years--2011 and 2012.

After Westerwelle`s talks with Krishna, both sides inked
an MoU on celebrating a Year of Germany in India in 2011-2012
and a Year of India in Germany in 2012-2013, marking 60th
anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

Besides expansion of UNSC, both sides also focused on
enhanced counter-terror cooperation, the Iranian nuclear
issue, climate change and intensification of economic and
defence ties.

Westerwelle said the two sides also discussed non-
proliferation and disarmament, maintaining that both were "two
sides" of the same coin.

Asserting that UN architect reflects the scenario of
post-second World War where many emerging powers such as
Africa and Asia were "under represented", he said the two
countries have agreed to stay in "close contact" with each
other on the issue of UN reforms and probably, a meeting will
take place in the next few months to work with other G-4
members to work in this direction.

On counter-terror cooperation, Westerwelle said Germany
was willing strengthen the ties and was willing to share
intelligence information.

PTI