Mexico City: After Switzerland, Mexico has supported India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG, a 48-member club of nations that control trade in advanced nuclear technologies.
"Mexico recognizes India's interest in joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group...As a country we have a positive and constructive backing for this." Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said said at his Los Pinos residence, after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
Mexico supported India's membership because of PM Modi's "commitment to the agenda of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," he added.
"I thank President Pena Nieto for his positive and constructive support for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group," PM Modi said. He began his statement by thanking the President. "Muchas gracias, Senor Presidente! ( Thank you, Mr President for your generous welcome), " he said.
After their bilateral talks, the Mexican President personally drove his guest to a restaurant, foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Mexico's backing for India's NSG application represents a historic policy shift for the country, which has held a firm position on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for decades.
Switzerland had earlier this week agreed to support India's bid for NSG membership made last month. PM Modi tacked on Switzerland and Mexico as extra stops on his tour to seek their support on joining the elite nuclear club.
India is also poised to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) after talks this week between PM Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington.
Both groups would give India greater access to research and technology, but India´s accession to the NSG has so far been blocked by China, which has supported the application of Pakistan, despite questions over its proliferation record.
Pena Nieto's support today is a boost for PM Modi, but he must still win China's support to seal India's membership of the non-proliferation body, which will hold its annual meeting in South Korea this month.
PM Modi arrived in Mexico today from the US on the fifth and final leg of his five-nation tour. He is the first Prime Minister in 30 years to visit the country - Rajiv Gandhi had visited in 1986.