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Mexico backs India's nuclear suppliers group bid
by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) June 9, 2016

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto backed India's bid to join a nuclear trade group as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Latin American nation on Wednesday.

Pena Nieto said Mexico, which is a member of the 48-nation NSG, will give its "positive and constructive support" to India as he praised Modi's "commitment" to the international nuclear non-proliferation agenda.

Modi, in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Mexico in 30 years, was grateful as the two leaders met at the Los Pinos presidential residence.

"I thank President Pena Nieto for his constant and positive support for India's membership" to the NSG, Modi said.

The 48-nation NSG governs global nuclear trade through guidelines that seek to prevent the proliferation of atomic weapons.

Modi received US President Barack Obama's support for admission to the NSG when he visited Washington before his brief trip to Mexico.

Obama's public display of support is likely to be noted in Beijing, which has been skeptical about nuclear-armed India's admission.

Pena Nieto also announced that the two nations were upgrading their ties from "privileged" to "strategic" partners.

Both leaders pointed to energy as an area where cooperation can grow, with Pena Nieto noting that Mexico enacted in 2014 a reform that opens the sector to foreign investments for the first time in decades.

"We agreed to promote investments based on the energy reform that Mexico has carried out so that Indian companies can invest in renewable energy," he said.

For his part, Modi said that Mexico is "an important partner for India's energy security. We are now looking to move beyond our buyer-seller relationship."

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