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India, Germany to hold talks on nuclear issues


New Delhi : India and Germany are set to step up dialogue on nuclear issues when the German pointsperson on arms control holds two-day talks with Indian officials beginning Wednesday.

Germany’s Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control Peter Gottwald will meet his counterpart Special Secretary Vivek Katju as well as Deputy National Security Advisor Shekhar Dutt and hold talks with them on a range of nuclear issues.

“The ambassador will also interact with interlocutors of institutions and individuals working in the areas of conflict resolution and disarmament in India, and senior journalists,” a note from the German embassy said.

The visit takes place against the backdrop of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010 and multilateral efforts, involving Germany, EU and its NATO partners, towards an international arms control treaty.

Issues relating to arms control, UN Security Council resolutions on Iran, enforcement of the UNSC resolutions on North Korea and the NPT review will figure prominently in the discussions.

Germany backed global consensus for India in the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last year enabled the resumption of international nuclear trade with New Delhi.

Germany has been advocating the universalisation and strengthening of existing multilateral treaties and regimes governing non-proliferation and disarmament.

“Germany pursues a balanced approach aimed at both enhancing and developing the three pillars of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) – non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” the German embassy said here while announcing the visit.

India believes in universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament, but has not signed the NPT on grounds that it is discriminatory and tends to divide the world into the nuclear haves and have-nots.