India, which had set its heart on membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), will have to wait for some more time, as the 26th plenary meeting of the group held in Seoul, South Korea, concluded today without any fruitful results for New Delhi.
Putting up a brave front, the ministry of external affairs said, "We are confident that the NSG will recognise the benefits of having India as it deliberates further on this issue."
India's participation in the NSG will further strengthen nuclear non-proliferation and make global nuclear commerce more secure, ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said, adding it would advance energy security and make a difference to combating climate change
''It has been suggested that India's participation in the NSG requires it to join the NPT. Our stand on the issue is well known,'' Swarup said. India has consistently refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Swarup underlined that a number of countries supported India's membership and appraised New Delhi's application positively. On behalf of the nation, he thanked each State. "It is also our understanding that the broad sentiment was to take this matter forward," the MEA said.
The NSG said it discussed technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT States in the elite group. Participating governments called on all the States to exercise vigilance and ensure effective implementation of all UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) relevant for the working of NSG.
Brazil supported India's bid for NSG membership but called for common criteria for all non-NPT states (See: NSG talks stretch on as Brazil joins anti-India camp). It further stated that India has by far a better nuclear proliferation record than Pakistan. China meanwhile said it is ready to hold nuclear bilateral talks with India. China does not back Pakistan or India to be admitted in NSG till they follow rules laid down by the members, said Chinese chief negotiator Wang.
Switzerland, which had earlier extended its complete support, today opposed New Delhi`s bid, citing New Delhi's non-Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) status.
The US remained a strong supporter of India's entry. ''We have made it very clear how seriously we want India's application to be taken up inside Nuclear Suppliers Group,'' said the US State Department.