Modi’s Swiss Moment: Bern declares support for India’s NSG bid

PM Modi-Switzerland visit

In a boost for India’s quest to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Switzerland, a known non-proliferation hardliner, has declared support for New Delhi’s membership of the global nuclear cartel.

The declaration of Bern’s support for New Delhi came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Amman on June 6 in Geneva.

“We have promised India support in its efforts to become a member of NSG,” said the Swiss president, bringing much cheer to India ahead of the NSG plenary meeting in Vienna June 8-9. The support of Switzerland is expected to swing sceptics in Europe to back India’s bid for the NSG membership, informed sources told India Writes Network.
India’s NSG membership  will also figure prominently in Mr Modi’s talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington and the Mexican leader this week.

Prior to his trip, Mr Modi had described Switzerland as India’s key partner in Europe.

Mr Modi pressed the Swiss leader for his help with recovering illegal cash running into billions, which have been stashed in Swiss banks by rich Indians.

Elaborating on the status of investigations on black money, Mr Amman said: “India and Switzerland are making considerable progress in fighting tax fraud and evasion.” “Combating the menace of “black money” and tax evasion is also our shared priority,” Mr Modi added.

Economic partnership

Aiming to bolster economic cooperation, Mr Modi met CEOs straddling several sectors. “We want to have manufacturing of global standards. Hence Swiss model of skill development very relevant for us,” Mr Modi said. Reaching out to the Swiss watch industry, he said: “The diamonds on Swiss watches come from Gujarat. So am fully sensitive to year concerns.”

Skill Development

Focusing on skill development, India and Switzerland agreed to build on the Swiss Vocational and Educational Training system suited to India’s needs.

India and Switzerland agreed to support each other for their respective bids for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

In the end, it was a smart diplomatic game Mr Modi played in Geneva as he cited the example of tennis players Martina Hingis’ partnership with Sania Mirza and Leander Paes as an example of successful collaboration between India and Switzerland.

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