India has a strong case at NSG: VP Hamid Ansari

SansadTV Bureau

India has a strong case to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Vice President Hamid Ansari said, stressing that he hopes to ensure Poland’s support during his visit to the country.

Vice President M Hamid Ansari with his wife Salma Ansari arrives at the Zvartnots International Airport in Armenia on Monday

Vice President M Hamid Ansari with his wife Salma Ansari arrives at the Zvartnots International Airport in Armenia on Monday

Ansari, who is on a five-day visit to Armenia and Poland, said Poland has supported India’s bid to join the NSG earlier and now that the “rules were being reworked” it will continue to do so. He said this apparently referring to the nuclear non-proliferation regime linkage to India’s joining the NSG.

“As far as NSG is concerned, the rules were being  reworked. Old rules are being amended,” he said.

“We have good relationship (with Poland) and we want to develop the relationship with the country,” Ansari said.

Speaking about the areas of cooperation between India and Poland, he said one such area was the coal sector.

“Another area is agriculture. India looks forward to strengthen the bilateral trade engagement with Poland,” he told reporters on board his special aircraft.

He said India is set to sign an MoU with Poland in the agriculture sector. There is also considerable potential for bilateral engagement in the defence sector.

“Poland is a big country. It is our strongest trading partner in central Europe. We have USD 3 billion trade with the country. Indian companies are working there,” he said.

India has close economic ties with Poland. Indian investments in Poland amount to around USD 3 billion and Polish investments in India are of about 600 million USD.

Ansari will reach Poland on April 26 and over the next two days meet the Polish president and the prime minister, who will host a banquet in the vice president’s honour. He will also meet the speaker of the Senate.

About Armenia, which would be his first stop during the tour, he said, “We have very good relations with the country and it supports us on many issues at various international fora.”

Armenia is a member of the Eurasian economic zone and India hopes to tap that market, he said, adding that India had helped Armenia during the 1988 earthquake.

This is Ansari’s first visit to Armenia and Poland.

The vice president, who will be in Armenia till April 26, is accompanied by his wife, Salma Ansari, Union Minister of State for Small, Medium & Micro Industries Giriraj Singh, Members of Parliament Sitaram Yechury, D P Tripathi, Vivek Tankha and Thupstan Chhewang and senior officials, besides media representatives.

In Armenia, Ansari will hold discussions with the president, prime minister and the foreign minister in the capital of Yerevan, besides attending a host of events.

The president of Armenia will host a lunch in his honour the prime minister will host a banquet.

The visit to Armenia takes place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Armenia. This is the second visit at the level of the vice president of India to Armenia.

In Poland, Ansari will inaugurate a business seminar. He will deliver a lecture at the University of Warsaw and will inaugurate the Indian Embassy Chancery cum Residential Complex.