India remains engaged with NSG over seeking membership: Sushma Swaraj

| Updated: Mar 30, 2017 00:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): The Centre has informed that that India remains engaged with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and individual members at the appropriate levels to seek membership of the elite group. This was informed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a written reply to Parliament on Wednesday. She said the merits of India's candidature have been recognized by a majority of NSG members. Swaraj added that India has received support from a diverse and large number of members, including the United States, France, United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Republic of Korea, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Japan. "While no member of the Group has explicitly opposed India's membership, certain procedural and process related issues have been raised by a few members," she said. She further said that the BRICS as a group has not issued any statement on India's membership of the NSG. India had hoped to join the group during NSG's last plenary session, held in Seoul in June this year, but the meeting ended without taking any decision on New Delhi's application. Several countries expressed concerns over India's entry because it had not yet signed the NPT. China led the efforts to block India's membership. After the plenary, the NSG chairman asked the outgoing Chairman Rafael Grossi to work out a proposal for admitting new members. The proposal he prepared also addressed the India-Pakistan dispute, acknowledging that both countries had "political reasons" for blocking each other's membership. The proposal requires a non-NPT state to declare that it has brought into force a clear and strict separation of current and future civilian nuclear facilities from non-civilian nuclear facilities and is willing to apply this principle to future facilities as well. The new member also needs to assure NSG that it has provided and maintains a declaration to the IAEA that identifies all current and future civilian nuclear facilities. The applicant also needs to assure NSG that it has enforced a safeguards agreement with the IAEA covering all declared civilian facilities and all future civilian facilities which the IAEA determines are eligible for safeguards. (ANI)