26/06/2016 4:49 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

NSG Forms Informal Panel For India's Entry To The Elite Club, Will Likely Meet Again This Year

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A Power Plant With Cooling Tanks From Gujarat, India

Despite China's strong opposition, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has decided to meet again later this year to discuss the process of inclusion of countries like India, who have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NSG had met in Seoul earlier this week.

"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," the Obama administration official told PTI.

According to NDTV, the suggestion for another meeting came from Mexico and was opposed by China. But those objections were set aside later.

Unnamed sources told NDTV that the meeting is likely to take place by the end of the year.

A panel headed by Argentine Ambassador Rafael Grossi will hold informal consultations on India's membership, reported The Times of India.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told ANI that while India didn't get the desired result from the Seoul meet last week, the NSG membership process would 'take some time' to fructify.

"India is an important member of the nuclear comer club. We are building 38 reactors within the country. Every year more than 150 plus export licenses on nuclear-related items are issues by India. This itself tells the need of India to be inside the NSG. Our credentials on non proliferation speak for itself," Swarup said.

"India is building 38 nuclear reactors, and we issue over 150 export licenses for related items. This itself says that India needs to be in the NSG."

China was unrelenting in thwarting India's NSG bid despite PM Narendra Modi urging Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to support India's case on its merits.

An upset India had later accused 'one country' — a clear reference to China — of persistently creating procedural hurdles during the discussions on its application.

(With agency inputs)

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