A US Senator has praised the NSG for deciding against granting India membership of the grouping immediately, hours after the elite group’s plenary meeting ended in Seoul with no decision on India’s membership in face of strong China-led opposition.
“Today, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) reaffirmed its strong support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by refraining from admitting India,” Junior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Edward Markey said in a statement.
The NSG was founded in response to India’s 1974 nuclear test and it has worked for decades to prevent the sharing of technology that could contribute to the further spread of nuclear weapons, he said yesterday.
“If India joined the Nuclear Supplier Group, it would be the only participating government in the organisation that was not a party to the NPT, weakening the NSG’s commitment to the treaty. By refraining from admitting India, the NSG strengthened both the treaty and the broader global nonproliferation regime,” Markey, a known India-basher, said.
As a member of the US House of Representative, Markey has unsuccessfully led effort to block passage of civil nuclear deal between India and the US. Last month during a Congressional hearing, Markey had opposed India’s NSG membership application.
The NSG yesterday ended its plenary meeting in Seoul with no decision on India’s membership.
“The NSG plenary in Seoul earlier in the day decided against granting India membership of the grouping immediately and said it will continue to have discussions on participation of countries which have not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said yesterday.
China, which had made no secret of its opposition, succeeded in scuttling India’s bid despite a significant majority backing the Indian case. Thirty-eight countries supported India, according to Indian officials.