US to help India in NSG bid

WASHINGTON:  In a good news for India, US is looking at methods in order to “more actively support” India’s membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as the Trump administration is treating it as a significant issue.

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This move of US has come at a juncture when the plenary meeting of the elite nuclear club in June was not able to come up with a decision on India’s application for its membership, but decided to discuss in November the issue of entry of non-NPT signatories.

China, important NSG member, has been stridently opposing India’s bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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The opposition of China has made India’s entry into the 48-member group difficult as the Nuclear Suppliers Group works on the principle of consensus.

“There is a meeting coming up shortly on this issue. The US is considering ways it can to support more actively India’s membership in the NSG, because it is something that’s very important to the US,” pointed out the White House official.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was reacting to a wide array of queries on what steps the Trump administration has taken so far to push India’s membership to the NSG, which has repeatedly been blocked by China.

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“The US is very supportive of India’s membership in the NSG. That continues to be something very important, and in fact it came up during the meeting of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi with President (Donald) Trump (at the White House on June 26),” the White House official said.

“In terms of the specific interactions with China, I’m not aware if it’s been raised. It’s something certainly that the US does support,” the official said, insisting that the Trump administration is committed to support India’s case.

“The group decided to continue its discussion and noted the intention of the chair to organise an informal meeting in November,” said the NSG statement.

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