India today said it was in touch with member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group over its application for entry into the 48-nation bloc which is at present holding a crucial meeting in the Swiss capital Bern. “The meeting is going on. Our application for membership is under consideration. We are in touch with all the NSG member countries,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. The meeting of the NSG began on June 19 and is scheduled to conclude tomorrow. China has been opposing India’s bid primarily on the ground that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Last week, China had said there was no change in its stance on admission of non-NPT states into the NSG.
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The issue has become a major sticking point in bilateral relations between India and China. After India’s application for entry into the elite group which controls nuclear trade, Pakistan, China’s all-weather ally, too had applied with the tacit backing of Beijing. China’s opposition has made India’s entry into the group difficult as it is guided by the consensus principle. India is not a signatory to the NPT.