India’s hopes for entry into the elite NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) are not dashed yet, and there is a good reason for that. NSG is likely to meet again this year to discuss membership of non-NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatories like India.
India is not a signatory to the Nuclear NPT and that was the ground used to thwart India’s bid. However, diplomatic sources have said that at the suggestion of Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of NSG should be held before the end of the year to consider the criteria for allowing non-NPT signatories like India into the group. Normally, the next meeting of NSG would have been held sometime next year.
Sources said that Mexico’s suggestion was also opposed by China but it found support from a large number of countries including the US.
India has made it clear to China, responsible for torpedoing its recent NSG bid, that it was necessary to take care of India’s “interests” for forward movement in bilateral ties. India will continue to discuss the issue with China.
Even as it emerged that NSG is likely to meet in the next few months, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We will keep impressing upon China that mutual accommodation of interests, concerns and priorities is necessary to move forward bilateral ties.”
Swarup also said that though India did not get “expected results” at the Seoul meeting, the country will continue to make determined efforts to get into NSG.
China was unrelenting in thwarting India’s NSG bid despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to support India’s case on its merits.
An upset India later accused “one country”, a clear reference to China, of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.
A panel for informal consultations on India’s membership has also been set up by the NSG and it will be headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi.
A top US official has said that the NSG session in Seoul had ended with a “path forward” for India’s acceptance as a member.
“We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year. It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the (NSG) regime by the end of the year,” the Obama administration official has said.
(With inputs from PTI)