Vienna meet may give fresh hopes for India’s NSG dreams

The special envoy appointed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), at the forthcoming meeting of the (NSG) Nuclear Suppliers Group consultative group in Vienna on November 11-12, Rafael Grossi, is likely to propose a two-stage process to admit non-NPT members.

China’s opposition is entrenched+ , and 2 rounds of discussions between Chinese and Indian delegations led by Wang Qun and Amandeep Gill failed to bridge the divide between the 2 sides. For (NSG) Nuclear Suppliers Group aspirant India, a positive decision in its favour appears unlikely this time.

“We will seek a solution that applies to all non-NPT countries and then we will discuss the specific application of relevant non-NPT country,” Chinese foreign ministry said.

“We are willing to keep communication and contact with India in this regard,” Hua Chunying, said.

Chinese diplomats have questioned whether Grossi actually enjoys the mandate of all countries, While China has agreed to participate in the consultation process.

The (NSG) Nuclear Suppliers Group impasse has shadowed India’s membership of this group which happened earlier this year. India made its maiden appearance at the MTCR+ meeting in Busan, Korea on 21 October, its first after gaining membership to this group. Last week, New Zealand, which has been opposed to non-NPT states like India entering the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), reportedly took a more constructive approach to New Delhi’s bid.

New Zealand PM John Key also put forward certain proposals to India, In his conversations with the Indian leadership, which prompted Indian officials to declare satisfaction at the talks even though there was no outright pledge of support from New Zealand.

Austria, Ireland, even Switzerland are waiting for a decision that will reconcile their non-proliferation positions with opening up of membership of the group. Other fence-sitters during the June plenary are unwilling to commit one way or another. Turkey remains opposed to India because of their ties with Pakistan.