A consultative committee meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) next week is expected to improve India’s prospect of admission to the 48-nation club founded four decades ago.
At the November 11 conclave at Vienna, India is looking forward to “unanimity” on a “feasible” process that can make it an NSG member despite not being a party to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), sources said.
The 1970-effected NPT has its 190 countries aiming to check the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, which is also the mission of the NSG whose members trade in nuclear technology and missile materials. The NSG was formed in 1975 in response to India’s first nuclear bomb test the previous year in Rajasthan’s Pokhran range.
India has been striving to bring onboard NSG countries such as China, Ireland, Turkey, Austria and Switzerland to get into the exclusive group. The NSG admission principle is such that one country’s disagreement can block a prospective entrant.
Members such as Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa, too, have reservations on admitting new countries to the club, but they would not come in the way of India’s NSG membership.
Argentine Rafael Grossi, a facilitator to the chairperson of the group, has been in touch with member-countries regarding India’s moves to get into the NSG, a source said.
“It is expected that he would make recommendation based on his inputs,” the source told HT. “We believe India’s membership will strengthen the NSG, and all members would eventually agree to this. We are ready to address concerns of any country from our side.”
India is hopeful of its membership bid move on to the next step: setting in motion a process that will permit new members to the group.
New Delhi hopes it can address the proliferation concerns of member countries, but sticks to the position that India will not be part of “discriminatory” regimes such as the NPT.
India has been engaged in conversation with countries that have reservation about the NSG opening up for new members. It held two rounds of talks with China, a country it had singled out when its membership bid failed in June.
New Delhi is yet to get outright support from countries such as Brazil and New Zealand, though it took up the NSG entry matter with them at the highest level. These two countries, however, said they would work with other NSG members for India’s membership.