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MEA's reaction to the G-8 Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

June 14, 1998 

Statement on G-8 Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

We have seen the "Communique" issued by the Foreign Ministers of the G-8
  countries at their meeting held in London on June 12, 1998.

 India's views on the contents of the communique have been clearly articulated in our
  government's responses to the declarations issued after the various meetings of the
  P-5, the G-8, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution. Attention is
  invited in particular to the Official Spokesman's statement of June 10, 1998, relating
  to the latest G-8 meeting.

 It is unfortunate that the G-8 statement ignores the positive gestures made by the
  Government of India in recent weeks. These include, inter alia, the institution of a
  moratorium on nuclear testing; our willingness to explore ways and means for de jure
  formalisation of this undertaking; readiness to engage in negotiations on an FMCT in
  the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; maintenance and further development of
  strict export controls on nuclear related materials and technologies.

 Further, India remains committed to developing a framework of peaceful relations
  with Pakistan through a broadbased and sustained bilateral dialogue. This provides
  an effective means of identifying the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation
  and resolving outstanding issues through bilateral negotiations. It would also include
  consideration of CBMs such as our proposal for a no-first-use agreement. In this
  process of dialogue, there is no place for third party involvement of any kind
  whatsoever. These gestures reflect both our desire to further the cause of global
  disarmament and non-proliferation as well as our dedication to promoting peace and
  stability in the region. It is a matter of regret that the G-8 Foreign Ministers Joint
  Communique has not taken into account these proposals but has instead repeated
  unrealistic prescription, couched in the language of pressure.

 India has been a responsible member of the international community and remains
  strongly committed to the objective disarmament in general and nuclear disarmament
  in particular. However, we would like to make it clear that India's security concerns
  cannot be viewed in a narrow South Asian construct. Indeed, the pursuit of non
  proliferation in an arbitrary selective regional context remains the fundamental flaw in
  the global nuclear disarmament regime. The Government of India cannot consider
  any prescriptions which have the effect of undermining India's independent decision
  making. Like any sovereign nation, India will continue to take decisions in this regard
  on the basis of its own assessment and national security requirements.

 The G-8 have professed an interest in the welfare and economic growth of the
  people of the region. These professions are inconsistent with the actions threatened
  in the Joint Communique.

 Independent of the advice of those who claim to bear the responsibilities of the
  international community, the Government of India is autonomously embarked on a
  well-considered, comprehensive and purposeful programme meant to further
  genuine non-proliferation and global nuclear disarmament, and aimed at building
  confidence and cooperation in the region. Coercive and intrusive prescriptions are
  not only ill-advised but also counter-productive. Instead of offering homilies, the
  leading industrial economies should reflect seriously on the proposals made by India
  in recent weeks which offer a reasonable framework for dialogue in meeting our
  common concerns.