US desires to see India's NSG application be considered

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Washington, Jun 24: The US desires to see India's application for NSG membership be considered seriously even as its bid to enter the 48-nation grouping has hit a roadblock reportedly due to Chinese opposition.

"We have made clear our desire to see India's application be seriously considered," State Department Spokesman Kohn Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday. NSG members are scheduled to continue their meeting in Seoul today wherein countries supporting India's application are expected to raise it again.

Washington

The US, Kirby said, has consistently supported and raised India's membership to the NSG before its other 47 member countries.

"We have made very clear our support of their application, and I have no reason to suspect that it was not discussed at this meeting. But what was discussed in the room and where they came down, I just do not know.  I will see what we can do to find out for you, but I do not know how complete an answer I am going to be able to give you," Kirby added.

China "belligerently" led opposition to India's membership of NSG at a three-hour post-dinner meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group here last night which ended in a deadlock.

Preceding the two-day plenary of the 48-member NSG, which began yesterday, China had repeatedly said that India's membership was not on the agenda and is said to have made every effort to prevent any discussion on India's bid. Indian official sources said that China was joined by Austria, Ireland and Brazil among other countries which questioned as to how a country like India which had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can be admitted to the grouping.

PTI

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