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.
However, diplomatic sources said 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 said 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.