Rao to pitch for India''s full NSG membership during US visit

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) India will make a strong pitchfor securing a full membership of the elite Nuclear SuppliersGroup (NSG) during the visit of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Raoto the US, which has already pledged its support for NewDelhi.

Rao, who is leaving tonight, intends to discuss with theUS how to take forward the process of securing the fullmembership of NSG, officials said here.

During his visit to India last November, US PresidentBarack Obama had committed support for India''s full membershipin NSG and other multilateral export control regimes. The USmove finally opened a door for the country to transcend thelegal confines of a treaty that has defined global attitudestowards nuclear weapons for over four decades -- the NPT.

India has termed the US step to remove ISRO and DRDO fromthe entities list last month as "important" with the officialsmaintaining that Washington was looking at removing hurdles inhigh-tech trade with the country as per its commitment.

Continuing its cooperation in the field, US CommerceSecretary Gary Locke recently visited the country and wasaccompanied by delegates from 24 companies, promotingtechnologies and services related to civil nuclear energy,civil aviation, defence, homeland security and communications.

"We have made important progress this week, not just tolay the groundwork for more sales of US goods in India, but totake another real step towards strengthening the bonds betweenthe governments, the businesses and the people of India andthe US," Locke had said yesterday in Mumbai.

Locke, who was here on a high-technology trade mission,announced during President Obama''s trip, visited three cities-- New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

During her stay, the Foreign Secretary will also speaktomorrow at the New School in New York on India-China.

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