A week after India failed to get entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) due to China-led opposition, the US on Thursday said one country can break consensus in the atomic trading bloc and insisted that such member should be held accountable.
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon asserted that the US is committed to ensuring India’s entry into the NSG while expressing “regret” that Washington was unsuccessful in making India a member of the bloc in its pleanary in Seoul last week.
“We understand that in a consensus-based organisation, one country can break consensus. But in order to do so it must be (held) accountable not isolated.
“I think what we need to do going forward is, for both of us India and the US, sit down and take a call what happened in the Seoul, take a close look at the diplomatic process which is significant and see what more we can do and how we can ensure that next time we are successful,” he said during an interactive session at the Foreign Service Institute.
Calling India an “anchor of stability” in the Asia Pacifc region, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon also said what China was doing in South China Sea is “madness” and it wants New Delhi to play a major role in the Indian Ocean.
Shannon said managing the rise of China was a major challenge and that the US wants to work with India to have a strong and comprehensive presence in the Indian Ocean.
Describing India a responsible and important player in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation, Shannon said, “We are committed to having India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We believe that through the kind of work we have done, the civil nuclear agreement, the way India conducted itself, it is worthy of this.”
On India’s NSG bid, he said the US would continue to work for India’s inclusion in the group.
Shannon, who met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar earlier in the day, said India’s recent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) highlighted that the country is a “responsible and important player in the road to non- proliferation.”
“We regret, in Seoul we and India, were unable to open space necessary to allow India to move into the NSG at this moment,” he said.
When asked whether he thinks India will ratify the Paris climate deal before Obama administration’s tenure got over and, at the same time, it will become a member of the NSG, he said “I hope so”.
He said India has given a commitment to ratify the climate deal.
Shannon said that Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation was a very important symbol of friendship between the two countries.
“Just a few weeks ago, President Obama and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi welcomed the start of preparatory work on a site in Andhra Pradesh for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by an American company.
“This is expected to provide jobs in both countries and bring clean, reliable electricity that will help meet India s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.