As China announced that discussion on India’s membership is not on the agenda of the NSG plenary meeting in Seoul beginning Tuesday ,United States called all 48 memebers of the Nuclear suppliers group to support India’s application to join the elite club at the meeting.
“We believe, and this has been US policy for some time, that India is ready for membership and the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of NSG later this week,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
Ahead of the NSG’s annual plenary meet in Seoul on June 23-24, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said India’s application to join the group was not on the agenda.
“I want to point out the NSG agenda has never covered any issue concerning non-NPT countries joining the NSG. As we understand the annual conference in Seoul this year also has no such kind of issue or topic,” Hua told a regular news briefing.
The opinion of member countries is divided not only about India’s inclusion but also on the entry of all non-NPT members, she said.
“At same time, participating governments will need to reach a consensus decision in order to admit any applicant into the group, and the United States will certainly be advocating for India’s membership,” Earnest said .
US President Barack Obama, Earnest said, had an opportunity to discuss this issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was at the White House early this month, he said.
“The United States, as you know, strongly supports India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Earnest said.
“We have made our views known both publicly and privately, and we’ll continue to do so in advance of the meeting this week,” Earnest said when asked if the US has reached out to members of the NSG in support of India’s application.
At a separate news conference, the State Department reiterated the same.
“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.
But Beijing announced on Monday that India’s membership was not on the agenda in the upcoming meeting, a day after Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said China was not opposed to her country’s bid but was highlighting procedural issuesided not only about India’s inclusion but also on the entry of all non-NPT members, she said.