Deadlock on India's NSG bid persists despite Modi's urgings

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Tashkent/Seoul, Jun 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged China to support India's NSG bid, but there was no breakthrough on the issue at the meeting of the 48-nation grouping in the face of stiff Chinese-led opposition.

As Modi and the powerful Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Tashkent, some 5000 km away in the South Korean capital, India's case, although not on the formal agenda, came up at a special post-dinner meeting of NSG members, who remained divided over India's entry because it is not a signatory to NPT.

Modi-Jinping

Besides China, which has been publically vocal in its opposition to India's membership, it is understood that countries like Turkey, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Brazil took the stand that no exception can be made in the case of India.

Clearly, Modi's urgings had not changed the Chinese position, but what transpires tomorrow, the final day of the two-day plenary, remains to be seen.

Although admission of members like India which are not signatories to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is not on the agenda, Japan and some other countries are understood to have raised the matter in the opening session which led to the matter being taken up at a special meeting after dinner.

Read More: Why is NSG membership important for India?

Indian diplomats, led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, are in Seoul to press India's case, although they are not the participants at the plenary in the absence of India's membership. He has met a number of delegation leaders in this regard.

About 300 participants from 48 member countries are attending the plenary which was preceded by official-level session that began on June 20.

Seeking China's support for India's membership, Modi urged Xi to make a "fair and objective" assessment of India's application which is before the Seoul plenary. The two leaders are in Tashkent for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.

PTI

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