The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is likely to meet again before the end of the year to discuss the process of allowing non-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatories into the 48-nation grouping, providing another chance for India to press its claims.
In the face of strong opposition from China and a few other countries, India’s application for membership did not go through at the NSG plenary, which concluded in Seoul on Friday.
India is not a signatory to the NPT and that was the ground used to thwart its bid. However, diplomatic sources on Sunday said that at the suggestion of Mexico, it has now been decided that another meeting of the NSG should be held before the end of the year to consider the criterion for allowing non-NPT signatories, like India, into the group.
Sources said Mexico’s suggestion was also opposed by China but it found support from a large number of countries, including the U.S.
A panel for informal consultations on India’s membership has also been set up by the NSG and it will be headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi.
Mr. Grossi’s appointment came even as a top U.S. official said the NSG session in Seoul had ended with a “path forward” for India’s acceptance as a member.
“We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year. It needs some work. But we are confident that India would be a full member of the [NSG] regime by the end of the year,” an U.S. official told PTI in Washington.