US hopes China will back India n-deal in NSG

July 23rd, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The US Wednesday said it has spoken to China about support for its nuclear deal with India and expressed hope that Beijing will take a positive view of global nuclear cooperation with New Delhi. “Yes, we have had conversations with China. China has agreed to review carefully the necessary documentation before taking a decision,” US Ambassador David Mulford told reporters here in a conference call from Cleveland.

“I have a feeling they will take a positive view. But I can’t speak for China,” he replied when asked whether the US was confident that China will back India in the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

The telephonic interaction was arranged by the US embassy at the American Centre.

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

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

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

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

After winning the trust vote in parliament Tuesday evening, the Indian government has deputed special envoys to key NSG countries in order to get their support in the IAEA and the NSG.

Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan will soon travel to Beijing to seek its support in the NSG.

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