Washington: India’s bid to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) received a shot in the arm on Thursday when the United States urged the members of the NSG to support India’s membership into the group. The NSG, as of date, has 48 members including US, UK, Australia and Germany among others.
“The United States calls on Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) participating governments to support Indias application when it comes up at the NSG plenary, which I think is next week,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“Im not going to get ahead of how that is going to go or hypothesise and speculate about where it is going to go, but we’ve made clear that we support the application,” Kirby added.
Chairman of US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Edward Royce, had earlier told reporters amidst Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit that the United States will work to admit India into the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) and will also cooperate with India in fighting terrorism together.
Royce had said that the United States “will work hard to do that.” He further stated the United States will “push hard” because the Government of India has explained to them that it was important.
US President Barack Obama had also welcomed India’s application to the 48-member grouping on Modi’s US visit.
US Secretary of State John Kerry also wrote to the NSG members not supportive of India’s bid saying they should “agree not to block consensus on Indian admission”.
The Chinese media had earlier expressed concern on the increasing support for India’s entry into the elite group saying the nation’s admission it will “shake” the strategic balance in South Asia and make India a “legitimate” nuclear power.
India, despite not being a member of the NSG group, enjoys the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules for its atomic cooperation deal with the US. The NSG works under the principle of unanimity and even one country’s vote against India will scuttle its bid.