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US hopes to overcome Chinese hurdle on India's NSG bid

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today exuded confidence that the Donald Trump administration will be able to overcome the Chinese hurdle to pave the way for India’s entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: January 17, 2017 13:37 IST ]
File pic - US Ambassador to India Richard Verma
File pic - US Ambassador to India Richard Verma

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma today exuded confidence that the Donald Trump administration will be able to overcome the Chinese hurdle to pave the way for India’s entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Verma said that President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and a lot of other people had worked in pushing India's membership to the elite NSG and that the US will continue to work on it.

"This is something we will keep working on together. There is a lot of support for India's membership as we said we strongly support India's accession in the NSG. These things are complicated, they take time, they are multilateral. We will have to continue to work with those countries including China which may have some concerns. But I believe, at the end of the day, we will get there," Verma said.

China had yesterday said admission of non-NPT signatories in NSG cannot be a "farewell gift" for countries to give to each other. The Chinese reaction had come after the Obama administration asserted that Beijing was an "outlier" in the efforts to make India a member of the elite nuclear club.

Verma, who is stepping down from the post before Republican Donald Trump takes over as American President on January 20, said the US has been strongly supporting India's bid at the NSG and other export control regimes besides its membership at a reformed UN Security Council and other international institutions.

"All of these things have been very important for President Obama and I believe they will continue to be top priority (of the Trump administration)," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

China has been blocking India's membership bid for the 48-member grouping despite backing from majority members on the grounds that India is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

"I just want to point out that NSG membership shall not be some kind of (a) farewell gift for countries to give to each other," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said yesterday, taking a dig at the Obama administration.

China is advocating a two-step approach for admission of countries who have not signed the NPT. As per the new stand announced by Beijing, it first

wants to find a solution that is applicable to the admission of all non-NPT countries followed by discussions on admitting specific nations.

Besides India, China is also interacting with Pakistan on the issue as Islamabad too applied for NSG membership after India.

India is seeking membership of NSG to enable it to trade in and export nuclear technology. The access to the NSG, which regulates the global trade of nuclear technology, is expected to open up the international market for energy-starved India, which has an ambitious energy generation programme. India is looking at 63,000 MW energy requirement through the nuclear programme by 2030.    

The NSG looks after critical issues relating to nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector.          

With PTI Inputs 

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