US asks NSG members to support India’s membership

RSTV Bureau
Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of United States of America (USA),  Barack Obama in Oval Office, at White House, in Washington DC, USA on Tuesday.PTI Photo

FILE: Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of United States of America (USA), Barack Obama in Oval Office, at White House, in Washington DC, USA .PTI Photo

The US has asked the members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to consider and support India’s application to join the grouping during their plenary meeting in Seoul beginning later today.

“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 on Monday.

“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 on the eve of the 48-member grouping’s plenary meeting in Seoul beginning Tuesday.

US comments came after China said that India’s membership was not on the agenda of the NSG meeting.

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.

“The United States, as you know, strongly supports India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group…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 their stand on the issue.

“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.

“This is something that we have — India’s application is something we have routinely talked to other NSG participating members. This is not a new topic of discussion that we’ve had privately with the members,” Kirby said.

Pakistan applied for NSG membership, a week after India submitted its membership applications.

(With inputs from agencies)