India's NSG dream not over, group to meet again to discuss entry of non-NPT countries

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), whose membership India failed to get two days back, is likely to meet again before the end of the year to specially discuss the process for allowing non-NPT signatories into the 48-nation grouping, thus providing another chance to India to press its claims.

FP Staff June 26, 2016 14:47:21 IST
India's NSG dream not over, group to meet again to discuss entry of non-NPT countries

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), whose membership India failed to get two days back, is likely to meet again before the end of the year to specially discuss the process for allowing non-NPT signatories into the 48-nation grouping, thus providing another chance to India to press its claims.

In the face of strong opposition from China and a few other countries, India's application for membership did not go through at the NSG plenary which concluded in Seoul on Friday. India is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that was the ground used to thwart India's bid.

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, called India's NSG bid as a process which will take a long time.

Further, he said that India will continue to work actively on its bid to join NSG. He added that as far as India is concerned, we have already implemented all NPT provisions.

If the goal post is the implementation of NPT, India has met all criteria and has all the credentials, said Swarup. India's credentials and track record speaks for itself, he added.

Refusing to term 'no consensus' on India's bid in the NSG plenary at Seoul as "failure", Swarup agreed that India certainly did not get the expected results.

Without naming any particular country, he said that except that one country, no one else opposed our membership.

 

Attacking Pakistan of trying to foil India's bid and equating the two countries, he said, "I don't think anyone in global community can ever equate India with Pakistan on nuclear non-proliferation issue."

Diplomatic sources said on Sunday 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. 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.

Grossi's appointment came even as a top US official 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 told PTI in Washington.

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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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