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Dutch MPs want India to sign NPT

The Dutch MPs are here to get a taste of India's rising economic clout and stature on the global stage.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 22:28 IST

A group of influential Dutch MPs currently on a week-long visit to India on Monday said they would prefer it if New Delhi signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"We would still like India to sign the NPT. We do not know the details of the Indo-US nuclear pact and therefore can't comment on whether it contradicts provisions of the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group)," said FW Weisglas, president of the House of Representatives.

"We would like India to sign the NPT but at the same time we understand India's growing energy needs. It will help if we have some sort of commitment from India on peaceful uses of nuclear energy," said WJ Bos, a member of the House of Representatives.

The Netherlands is a key member of the NSG and could be influential in helping to relax the body's guidelines to facilitate nuclear commerce with India.

The Dutch MPs are here to get a taste of India's rising economic clout and stature on the global stage and will study the possibilities of more cooperation between the two countries in areas like the knowledge industry.

The Dutch government is considering liberalising the visa regime for Indian knowledge industry workers, said LW van der Laan, the leader of the D66 party in the House of Representatives.

The Dutch MPs met Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterhee and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission on Monday.

They will meet Indian business leaders on Tuesday.

The team will travel to Kolkata and Bangalore to explore enhanced cooperation in IT, pharmaceuticals, health and manufacturing.

The visit of Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Belkenende in January consolidated growing bilateral ties between the two countries in areas related to trade and knowledge industries.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 21:21 IST