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G8 Foreign Ministers' Meetings

G8 Foreign Ministers Communiqué on Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Tests

Lancaster House, London, Friday 12 June 1998

  1. We, the Foreign Ministers of eight major industrialised democracies and the Representative of the European Commission, held a special meeting in London on 12 June 1998 to consider the serious global challenge posed by the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan. Recalling the statement issued by our Heads of State or Government on 15 May, and emphasising the support of all of us for the communique issued by the P5 in Geneva on 4 June and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172, we condemn the nuclear tests carried out by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 May and 30 May. These tests have affected both countries relationships with each of us, worsened rather than improved their security environment, damaged their prospects of achieving their goals of sustainable economic development, and run contrary to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

  2. The negative impact of these tests on the international standing and ambitions of both countries will be serious and lasting. They will also have a serious negative impact on investor confidence. Both countries need to take positive actions directed towards defusing tension in the region and rejoining the international communitys efforts towards non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Urgent action is needed both to halt an arms race on the Sub-Continent, which would divert resources from urgent economic priorities, and to reduce tension, build confidence and encourage peaceful resolution of the differences between India and Pakistan, so that their peoples may face a better future.

  3. With a view to halting the nuclear and missile arms race on the Sub-Continent, and taking note of the official statements of the Indian and Pakistani Governments that they wish to avoid such an arms race, we consider that India and Pakistan should immediately take the following steps, already endorsed by the United Nations Security Council:

    • stop all further nuclear tests and adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty immediately and unconditionally, thereby facilitating its early entry into force;

    • refrain from weaponisation or deployment of nuclear weapons and from the testing or deployment of missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, and enter into firm commitments not to weaponise or deploy nuclear weapons or missiles;

    • refrain from any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations with other states in the Conference on Disarmament for a Fissile Material Cut-Off Convention with a view to reaching early agreement;

    • confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials and technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them, and undertake appropriate commitments in that regard.

    We believe that such actions would be strongly in the interest of both countries.

  4. With a view to reducing tension, building confidence and encouraging peaceful resolution of their differences through dialogue, India and Pakistan should:

    • undertake to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, including infiltrations or hot pursuit, or other provocative acts and statements;

    • discourage terrorist activity and any support for it;

    • implement fully the confidence- and security-building measures they have already agreed and develop further such measures;

    • resume without delay a direct dialogue that addresses the root causes of the tension, including Kashmir, through such measures as early resumption of Foreign Secretary level talks, effective use of the hot-line between the two leaders, and realisation of a meeting between Prime Ministers on the occasion of the 10th SAARC Summit scheduled next month;

    • allow and encourage progress towards enhanced Indo-Pakistani economic cooperation, including through a free trade area in South Asia.

    We encourage the development of a regional security dialogue.

  5. We pledge actively to encourage India and Pakistan to find mutually acceptable solutions to their problems and stand ready to assist India and Pakistan in pursuing any of these positive actions. Such assistance might be provided, at the request of both parties, in the development and implementation of confidence- and security-building measures.

  6. The recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan do not change the definition of a nuclear weapon state in the NPT, and therefore, notwithstanding those tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear weapon states in accordance with the NPT. We continue to urge India and Pakistan to adhere to the NPT as it stands, without any conditions. We shall continue to apply firmly our respective policies to prevent the export of materials, equipment or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons.

  7. It is our firm view that the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan reinforce the importance of maintaining and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the non- proliferation regime and as the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We all, nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states alike, reiterate our determination to fulfil the commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. These commitments were reaffirmed at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and included the determined pursuit by the nuclear weapon states of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons. We note the progress already made in this direction and welcome the firm intention both of the United States and of the Russian Federation to bring START II into force, and to negotiate and conclude a START III agreement at the earliest possible date. We also note contributions made by other nuclear weapon states to the reductions process. We call upon all states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty rapidly to ensure its entry into force, and welcome the determination of the member governments of the G8 that have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so at the earliest possible date. We continue to look for the accession to the NPT of the remaining countries which are not yet parties to it.

  8. We call on all the member states of the Conference on Disarmament to agree on the immediate opening of the Cut-Off negotiation at the CD.

  9. Both India and Pakistan face enormous challenges in developing their economies and building prosperity. However, the recent nuclear tests have created an atmosphere of regional instability which will undermine the regions attractiveness to both foreign and domestic investment, damaging business confidence and the prospects for economic growth. The diversion of their resources to nuclear and other weapons programmes displaces more productive investment and weakens their ability to pursue sound economic policies. It calls into question the commitment of both governments to poverty reduction and undermines the regional cooperation between SAARC countries on social and economic issues. In line with the approach to development set out in the Naples, Lyon, Denver and Birmingham Communiques, we call on both governments to reduce expenditure that undermines their objective of promoting sound economic policies that will benefit all members of society, especially the poorest, and to otherwise enhance cooperation in South Asia.

  10. We believe it is important that India and Pakistan are aware of the strength of the international communitys views on their recent tests and on these other subjects. Several among us have, on a unilateral basis, taken specific actions to underscore our strong concerns. All countries should act as they see fit to demonstrate their displeasure and address their concerns to India and Pakistan. We do not wish to punish the peoples of India or Pakistan as a result of actions by their governments, and we will therefore not oppose loans by international financial institutions to the two countries to meet basic human needs. We agree, however, to work for a postponement in consideration of other loans in the World Bank and other international financial institutions to India and Pakistan, and to any other country that will conduct nuclear tests.

  11. We pledge to convey the common views of our Governments on these matters to those of India and Pakistan with a view to bringing about early and specific progress in the areas outlined above. We plan to keep developments under review and to continue the process of pursuing the goals on which we are all agreed.


Source: United Kingdom. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. June 12, 1998


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