India hopes for China’s support in NSG

July 25th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Ahead of a likely meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) next month, India Friday said it was hopeful of getting China’s support in its quest for global nuclear cooperation. “The prime minister had discussed (the issue) with President Hu Jintao. We also had some discussion with my colleague Yang Jiechi on different occasions,” Mukherjee told Times Now TV channel.

“Let us see what happens, but we are hopeful,” he added.

Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan will travel to Beijing soon to seek China’s support ahead of a special meeting of the NSG.

China, one of the five recongised nuclear weapon states and an influential member of the NSG, has been ambivalent about the India-US nuclear deal and is yet to take a formal position.

However, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with Hu July 9 on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Japan, Beijing indicated it will not be a hurdle to India in the NSG, said Indian officials.

The US too has stepped up its diplomacy with NSG countries with a view to wrapping up the deal by September.

A couple of days ago, US ambassador David Mulford had said that Washington had spoken to Beijing and was hopeful China will take a positive view of global nuclear cooperation with New Delhi.

The US is keen to convene the meeting of the NSG in the first week of August after the approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board at a meeting Aug 1.

The NSG process is likely to be completed in August so that the 123 agreement can be endorsed by the Congress in September before Washington and New Delhi ink the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

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