In a nuanced effort to distance itself from the West’s aggressive stand on the Iran nuclear issue, New Delhi on Sunday said the nuclear security summit in Washington to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was not country-specific.
India said it hoped the summit would strengthen “international resolve to cooperate on nuclear security and supporting the expanded use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”.
Iran and North Korea, two countries that have fissile material, are not among the 42 countries the US has invited for the summit, which comes in the wake of increased US efforts to impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme.
Asked if the role of countries such as Iran and Pakistan in nuclear proliferation were being discussed ahead of the meet, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, also a sherpa for the summit, said the summit was not “country-specific” and the focus was on “global efforts to address the issue of nuclear security.”
Rao also cited the “extensive bilateral ties between India and Iran” and that Iran was an “important country in the region” and a “responsible country.”
New Delhi has suggested its willingness to set up a nuclear security centre ahead of the summit. The meet will discuss national measures and international cooperative mechanisms to deal with threats from nuclear terrorism.
“Nuclear terrorism is a global challenge and we see the summit and its associated preparatory process as important elements in strengthening international resolve to cooperate on nuclear security and supporting the expanded use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” Rao said.