Washington: A day after United States President Barack Obama said his country supports India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a report on Wednesday claimed that the South Asian nation will have to wait for some more time before it is given membership of the elite nuclear club.
Bloomberg News reported about the development citing three diplomats who were in knowledge of India’s membership process.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group controls trade in advanced nuclear technologies.
The 48-nation group is unlikely to grant approval on India’s application for membership when it convenes on June 20 in South Korean capital Seoul, the report said.
The NSG’s failure to induct India into the grouping this month could prove to be a big setback for New Delhi as the next NSG meeting will take place only later this year and could coincide with the US presidential elections.
Just days ago, in a letter to the NSG member states, US Secretary of State John Kerry had appealed for agreement on “not to block consensus on Indian admission” to the group at the Seoul meeting.
Bloomberg News further quoted Kerry as saying in the letter, “India has shown strong support for the objectives of the NSG and the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and is a ‘like-minded’ state deserving of NSG admission.”
On Tuesday, India and the US had said in a joint statement issued after a meeting at the White House between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama: “President Obama welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group and re-affirmed that India is ready for membership.”
The Nuclear Suppliers Group came into being following India’s atomic-bomb test in 1974.
At present, only three countries – India, North Korea and Pakistan – have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) despite admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.
Israel, which too hasn’t ratified the NPT, has so far refused to acknowledge that it possesses nuclear arms despite there being suspicions about the same.
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