With NSG rejecting its membership bid, an upset India on Friday said one country persistently created procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application in the 48-nation grouping, in a clear reference to stiff Chinese opposition.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also asserted that India’s participation in the NSG would have further strengthened nuclear non-proliferation regime and made global nuclear commerce more secure.
NSG, at the end of its two-day plenary in Seoul, declared its ‘firm support’ for the ‘full, complete and effective’ implementation of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, ruling out any exception to India.
However, India maintained that there was no contradiction between the NPT and India’s closer engagement with the NSG.
“We understand that despite procedural hurdles persistently raised by one country, a three-hour-long discussion took place last night on the issue of future participation in the NSG,” Swarup said.
“The NSG plenary in Seoul earlier in the day decided against granting India membership of the grouping immediately and said it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“An overwhelming number of those who took the floor supported India’s membership and appraised India’s application positively. We thank each and every one of them. It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward,” he said.
Swarup is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation which is here to attend the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
“It has been suggested that India’s participation in the NSG requires it to join the NPT. Our stand on the NPT is well known. But let me underline that in September 2008, the NSG itself addressed this issue,” Swarup said.
“Paragraph 1 (a) of the September 2008 decision states that the decision on India contributes to the ‘widest possible implementation of the provisions and objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’.
“There is thus no contradiction between the NPT and India’s closer engagement with with the NSG,” he said.
He said it was India’s understanding is that most countries want an early decision and that a few countries raised issues regarding the process for India’s participation in the NSG.
As the NSG plenary was holding deliberations, Prime Minister Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping here on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Meeting and urged him to support India’s NSG bid. The NSG works under the principle of consensus and even one country’s vote can scuttle any country’s bid.
“It is self-evident that process issues would not arise if these countries were actually opposed to our participation. This is corroborated by our own bilateral engagement with each of these countries.
“India believes that an early decision on its application remains in larger global interest. India’s participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure. It would advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change. We are confident that the NSG will recognise these benefits as it deliberates further on this issue,” Swarup said in a statement.