NSG to discuss India’s entry, PM seeks Xi’s support

RSTV Bureau

iceIndia’s bid for NSG membership will come up for discussion in Seoul on the first day at a special post-dinner meeting of the 48-nation elite group. An entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group is seen crucial in terms of enabling India’s participation in trade and export of nuclear technology.

It is not clear whether the discussion on India’s membership will be part of discussion, which is strongly opposed by China and few other countries.

Although admission India as a members is not on the agenda, Japan and some other countries are understood to have raised the matter in the opening session. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar who is n Seoul to lobby is not allowed to participants at the plenary in the absence of India’s membership.

Prime Minister met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO in Tashkent and urged him to make a fair and objective assessment of India’s application on merit.

“PM urged the Chinese President Xi t contribute to the emerging consensus in Seoul,” said MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swaroop

About 300 participants from 48 member countries are attending the plenary which was preceded by official-level session that began on June 20, according to the South Korean Foreign Ministry.

While the US and France have issued statements ahead of the plenary strongly supporting India’s case and asking members to back New Delhi, China has been unrelenting in its opposition harping on the need to have a criteria for non-NPT countries like India and clubbing India’s case with that of Pakistan for which it is batting.

FILE: File photo of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Photo – PTI

Roughly 20 countries are backing India’s case fully but given that the decisions in NSG are taken by consensus, India faces an uphill task.

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 requirements through 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.