Geneva: In a major boost to its diplomatic push for NSG membership, India yesterday managed to win crucial support of Switzerland ahead of a key meeting of the 48-nation bloc even as the two countries agreed to step up cooperation in unearthing black money stashed by Indians in Swiss banks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Switzerland’s President Johann Schneider-Ammann. PIC/PTI

Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann announced his country’s support to India’s membership in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) after holding comprehensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a range of bilateral and global issues.

Switzerland is a key member of the NSG and its support to India’s bid for membership of the elite grouping was seen as crucial in the backdrop of China harping on the need for a consensus as India was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Prime Minister thanked the Swiss President and also said combating black money and tax evasion was a “shared priority” for both the countries.

The US and many other NSG member countries have supported India’s inclusion based on its non-proliferation track record. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country's vote against India will scuttle its bid. The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Its membership will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.