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Richard VermaThe US is “disappointed” that India was not admitted to NSG during its recent plenary in Seoul, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Monday but asserted that it will continue to work with all the members of 48-nation grouping on India’s accession in the months ahead.

Referring to Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation, he said the two sides have moved forward on a 15-year project to build six Westinghouse reactors producing power for some 60 million people. “This is a deal that had been pending for 10 years, and we were pleased to see it move even closer to fruition.”

Addressing the Atlantic Council US-India Trade Initiative workshop, Verma talked about the US’ strong support for India’s role in global institutions, like having a seat on a
reformed UN security council. “We continued to welcome India’s interest in APEC, and we strongly affirmed our support for India’s accession into the multi-lateral export control regimes,” he added.

“With regard to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), six years ago, President (Barack) Obama first expressed his support for India’s membership in the NSG. Since that time, we have worked closely with our Indian counterparts and NSG members to help advance India’s case for membership. India has a strong record, and deserves to be included in the NSG.

“That is why the Administration, including senior White House and State Department officials, made a concerted effort to secure India’s membership in the recent NSG plenary session held in Seoul. We were disappointed India was not admitted during this recent session, but we will continue to work constructively with India and all the NSG members on India’s accession in the months ahead,” the top US envoy said.

India faced stiff opposition from China and a few other countries and the fact that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was used for foiling India’s bid at the Seoul meeting despite the US’ strong backing.

Verma also said that the US’ designation of India as a Major Defence Partner will bring the militaries, industries, and defence ministries of the two countries even closer in the years ahead.

In climate and clean energy, US has launched several new clean energy financing programmes to support India’s 175 GW target for renewable power, he said noting that both Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were committed to full implementation of the historic Paris climate agreement.

“We are in this with India for the long-term in bringing clean reliable power to the 300 million Indians who lack it and simultaneously battling to keep the earth’s temperatures from rising to dangerous levels,” he added.

Referring to the recent meetings between Obama and Modi, who was in the US earlier this month, he said they helped to institutionalize the bilateral cooperation and put it on a long-term footing for close collaboration in several key areas.

“In short, the Prime Minister’s visit marked a new level of strategic convergence and consolidation in our partnership,” he said.