India clears final hurdle to join MTCR


Diplomats say the members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a key anti-proliferation grouping, have agreed to admit India.

They said a deadline for members of the 34-nation group to object to India’s admission had expired on Monday without any of them raising objections.

Under the ‘silent procedure’, India’s admission follows automatically, diplomats from four MTCR member nations told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Obama was expected to say he was looking forward to India’s “imminent entry” into the MTCR when the two leaders address the press after their seventh bilateral meeting, sources aware of its agenda said.

Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology, also making more realistic its aspiration to buy state-of-the-art surveillance drones such as the U.S. Predator, made by General Atomics.

Membership to the MTCR would require India to comply with rules — such as a maximum missile range of 300 km (186 miles) — that seek to prevent arms races from developing.

Italy had earlier objected to admitting India but, after an unrelated bilateral dispute was resolved, did not object this time within a 10-day deadline after the group’s chair, the Netherlands, wrote to members suggesting India be welcomed.


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