Sweden backs India for UN permanent seat & MTCR

STOCKHOLM: Sweden, a key Scandinavian country and a member of the NSG, has come out in support of India’s global aspirations by backing New Delhi for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In a recognition of India’s non-proliferation credentials, Sweden also backed India’s bid for membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), one of the four crucial multilateral nuclear export regimes that New Delhi is looking to be a part of.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefen Lofven conveyed his support for India’s UNSC aspiration to India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a state visit to the Nordic country, and underlined that India has requisite credentials for the UN high seat.

“In view of the size as well as speed at which it was growing, India is a natural claimant for being a part of the UNSC,” the prime minister was quoted as saying Navtej Sarna, Secretary (West) in India’s external affairs ministry.

Sweden’s support for India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an association of 34 countries, is a boost for India’s aspiration to be inside the global nuclear export architecture. Many influential countries, including the US, Russia and France, have already backed India’s membership into the four global nuclear export regimes that include NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

India and Sweden also signed a clutch of pacts, including a MoU in the field of sustainable urban development, an MoU for cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Letter of Intent with Collaboration in Polar and Ocean Research agreements.

Imparting a new dimension to their burgeoning cooperation in the sphere of education, 15 key agreements were signed between various universities of India and Sweden.

During the meeting, the two leaders decided to restart the bilateral strategic dialogue stalled since 2011. Mr Lofven also appreciated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led “Make in India” campaign, and vowed to invest in India’s growing defence sector.