India, Germany to push G4 bid, to jointly combat terror

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - Bolstered by winning rotating seats in the UN Security Council, India and Germany Monday decided to accelerate the process of the UN reforms along with other G4 members and agreed to exchange information to combat terrorism in the region.

Germany, a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, also sought to strengthen dialogue with India over nuclear non-proliferation issue and claimed that it was encouraged by signs that India could be willing to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)”.

Global terrorism and violent extremists are threats to the region and the world. The fight against terror is not only in the interests of the region, but also in the world, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters after talks with his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna.

“Germany is ready to exchange information with India and cooperation in combating terrorism, Westerwelle said, adding that Berlin supported India’s initiative in pushing the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism.

Galvanised by their election as non-permanent members to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week, India and Germany also agreed to push hard for expansion of the Security Council in permanent as well as non-permanent category.

“We agreed to stay in touch. The reforms of the UN is a very serious project because the architecture of the UN is a result of World War II,” said Westerwelle.

“The world has changed. Africa is under-represented. Latin America and Asia are under-represented. We need reform of the UN to strengthen the role of the UN in the world as an institution that can resolve regional conflicts,” he stressed.

“We want to see the UN reforms make headway, he added.

After the talks, Suresh Kumar Goel, director general of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, and Thomas Goetz, director general, culture and science, the German Foreign Office, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on celebrating a Year of Germany in India in 2011-2012 and a Year of India in Germany in 2012-2013.

Climate change, non-proliferation, the Iranian nuclear issue and India-EU relations were among other global issues that were discussed by the two ministers.

Lauding India’s contribution to “non-proliferation”, Westerwelle said: “We are encouraged by signs that India could be willing to sign the CTBT. We will like India to move even closer to the global nuclear non-proliferation order,” he told reporters after the talks.

Germany supported global exemption for India in the NSG in September 2008. India adheres to a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, but has refused to sign the CTBT on grounds that it is discriminatory and tends to divide the world into the nuclear haves and have-nots.

Germany has a clear stand on CTBT. There are more countries who have not ratified CTBT. We are encouraging all countries, who have signed CTBT, to ratify it, he said.

On Iran, Westerwelle admitted that Tehran’s nuclear programme figured in the discussions. There is no country in the world which is interested in Iran having nuclear weapons, he said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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