PM Modi opens a window, NSG doors still shut; 7 nations hold out at Seoul

At least seven countries — China, Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Ireland and New Zealand — were learnt to have raised questions, mostly pertaining to the entry of non-NPT countries into the elite club.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: June 24, 2016 1:53 pm
India nsg, nsg india, india nsg bid, india nuclea suppliers group, nuclear suppliers group india, india nsg seoul meet, india nsg meet, india news PM Modi asked Xi to make fair and objective assessment of India application.

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to contribute to the “emerging consensus” in Seoul, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was unable to arrive at a consensus in the South Korean capital during a late-night session to discuss the Indian application for membership.

At least seven countries — China, Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Ireland and New Zealand — were learnt to have raised questions, mostly pertaining to the entry of non-NPT countries into the elite club.

The discussions will continue Friday. Some of these countries have conveyed to the Indian side that they need to consult their governments before arriving at a final decision.

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While some officials spoke of referring the matter to a “technical group or a panel” or taking it up separately at a special plenary later this year, New Delhi, backed by the United States, is learnt to have stressed on a decision on “immediate membership” and not look for “second-best options”.

Major founding members of the NSG, including UK, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and Canada, supported India’s bid during the meeting, citing its adherence to NSG guidelines since 2008.

A major part of the meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tashkent, which lasted about 45 minutes Thursday afternoon, was devoted to the issue of India’s NSG membership, Indian officials said.

After the bilateral meeting, Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said: “PM Modi urged China to make a fair and objective assessment of India’s application and judge it on its own merit. He said China should contribute to the emerging consensus in Seoul.”

The fact that Modi asked the Chinese President to consider India’s application on “its own merit” meant that New Delhi was asking Beijing to delink itself from Pakistan’s application. India applied on May 12 and Pakistan’s application was submitted soon after.

China has been pressing for clubbing both applications, saying they are not NPT signatories. India has been pointing to “credentials” and not criteria. In any case, signing of NPT is not a mandatory criterion to become an NSG member, officials said.

Watch Video: India’s NSG Bid: Modi Proposes, Many Oppose It

There was no official word from the Chinese President’s delegation about Xi’s response to the Indian Prime Minister’s request.

However, by late night, at least six countries, apart from China, raised certain questions at the NSG Plenary in Seoul.

China is leading the opposition with its delegation insisting on the “criteria-based process” for accepting any new member – a reference to NPT. They have cited Namibia’s case which can enter the NSG in this year’s plenary straightaway since it is a NPT signatory.

Three countries with a strong anti-nuclear posture – Austria, Ireland and New Zealand — are at the forefront of raising questions on India’s membership of NSG citing “process issues”, at least three diplomats tracking the ongoing negotiations in Seoul told The Indian Express.

Turkey, a diplomat said, has openly asked for both Indian and Pakistan applications to be considered together.

What has surprised many are reservations expressed by Brazil and Switzerland. While Brazil has come out questioning India’s application for the first time — although India shares a good rapport through

BRICS and IBSA groupings — Switzerland, which had announced support during Modi’s visit early this month, has called for an””objective criteri”” before allowing new members. This nuanced position by Switzerland is being seen as a delaying tactic by Indian officials.

However, positions may evolve over the next 12 to 24 hours as Indian officials are working the phones. According to Indian government sources, there is””consensus minus on”” – China is the only country blocking consensus.

In Seoul, negotiators of the 48-country elite grouping assembled for a special session post-dinner to discuss India’s membership application. Indian officials, led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, were also present at Hotel Shilla where officials from the 48 countries were meeting.

A European diplomat told The Indian Express that India fulfils the requirements and its case was””soli””.””More than 30 countries had supported the Indian case at the meeting held on June 9… there is an overwhelming support for India’s candidature to become a member”” he said.

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  1. H
    Haren
    Jun 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm
    I think Indian express is read by only Congressi.
    Reply
    1. J
      Jonnalagadda Achyutananda
      Jun 24, 2016 at 6:28 am
      It is well known fact that China will not support nsg entrance by India.if some countries do not agree nothing to be lost.we were not previously but now also india will not be members. China gives friendly posture to continue business but inherently China is foe.
      Reply
      1. N
        Nanjundappa
        Jun 24, 2016 at 1:06 am
        For too long stan has been equated to India by feeding them both with drugs of equal amount so they don't develop any technology of their own. Keeping aside the lazy but criminally expert creatures in India in the form brahmins, at least stan should have developed, indeed it has developed more than India on a per capita basis. This time the international society should upset the balance by allowing stan into the NSG.
        Reply
      2. K
        Kanjakarupu
        Jun 24, 2016 at 2:53 am
        Everybody knows Modi butchered 3000 people. If nuclear button is in the hands of a butcher, the international community thinks he would become a HITLER II.
        Reply
        1. K
          Kanjakarupu
          Jun 24, 2016 at 2:45 am
          France developed its own nuclear technology. Indics developed BS technology and to appease Russia for its support in international forums deliberately did not develop indigenous technology. All those who took decisions are deable brahmins.
          Reply
          1. K
            Kanjakarupu
            Jun 24, 2016 at 1:35 am
            You are most intelligent. IE always says the truth. But hey have a problem. All this who comment against the Italian BHC DURING UPA AND ALL THOSE CALL NARENDRA BUTHER ARE REPOTRTED TO IB THUG SLEEPER CELL BY THEIR IT MANAGER WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF IE MANAGEMENT.
            Reply
            1. Y
              Yakobi
              Jun 24, 2016 at 1:19 am
              Nor hindrance to truth, hind uism , based not on truth but hin du criminal indec self center ism. the hate.
              Reply
              1. Y
                Yakobi
                Jun 24, 2016 at 2:46 am
                Security council is not based on equality but, hindrance to truth hind uism, inequality, so expect nothing better but, hind uism justice, foundation of hind uism racism.
                Reply
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