The fresh statement from the US on India’s NSG membership came after China said that it was not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul.
Washington: Amid China’s opposition, the US has given a fresh push to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid by asking members of the elite club to support India’s entry into the grouping during the ongoing plenary meeting in Seoul.
“We believe, and this has been the US policy for some time, that India is ready for membership and the US calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of NSG,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
“At the same time, participating governments will need to reach a consensus decision in order to admit any applicant into the group and the US will certainly be advocating for India’s membership,” Earnest said as the five-day annual plenary session of the 48-member club began in the South Korean capital on June 20.
His remarks came after China said that India’s membership was not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul.
The NSG remains divided over non-NPT countries like India becoming its members, China’s foreign ministry had said on June 20, less than 24 hours after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj exuded hope that “we would be able to convince China to support our entry to the NSG.”
Earnest added that US President Barack Obama had an opportunity to discuss India’s NSG membership bid with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their White House meeting earlier this month.
“The US, as you know, strongly supports India’s application to join the NSG,” Earnest said.
“We have made our views known both publicly and privately, and we’ll continue to do so,” Earnest said when asked if the US had reached out to members of the NSG in support of India’s application.
At a separate news conference, the state department reiterated the same views.
“As you know, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, the President welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and reaffirmed that India is ready for membership. We continue to call on the participating governments, the NSG, to support India’s application at the plenary session this week itself,” state department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.
“India’s application is something we have routinely talked to other NSG participating members. This is not a new topic of discussion that we’ve had privately with the members,” Kirby said.
Last week as well, the US had called on members of the nuclear trading club to support India’s membership.