US calls upon NSG members to support India’s membership

New Delhi, June 21 :  The United States has called upon members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to throw their weight behind India for getting membership in the elite club.

The call comes ahead   of a plenary session of the 48-nation club in Seoul on Tuesday, to give a shot in the arm for Delhi particularly after  China said that India’s inclusion into the NSG was not on the agenda at Seoul.

“The United States strongly supports India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  We believe — and this has been U.S. policy for some time — that India is ready for membership,” White House Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

“And the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary later this week, he said.

The content of the press briefing has appeared in the official website of the White House Press Secretary.

Earnest said the participating nations in the plenary session  will need to reach a consensus decision in order to admit any applicant into the group. ” And the United States will certainly be advocating for India’s membership,” he asserted.

He said the issue was discussed between US President Barrack Obama and Inian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter visited the White House a couple of weeks ago.
Replying a question whether the US has reached out to the countries who are opposing India’s NSG membership, Earnest said, ” Well, I don’t have any conversations to read out at this point.  But we’ve made our views known both publicly and privately, and we’ll continue to do so in advance of the meeting this week.”

Putting a hurdle before India, China has said the inclusion of non-NPT (Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty) members has never been a topic on the agenda of NSG meetings, and in Seoul this year, there is no such topic.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the NSG is divided on inclding not just India but all countries that are not signatories to the NPT.