Hyderabad, June 24 (IANS) US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Friday reiterated his country’s full support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
He said the US remained committed to nuclear cooperation with India and the latter’s accession to NSG. His comments came even as a plenary of the 48-member bloc in Seoul failed to take a decision on India’s membership, mainly due to China’s objections over India not signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
He, however, refused to comment on China opposing India’s bid for NSG membership.
Verma declined to comment on the stand taken by China at the NSG meeting in Seoul saying it’s an ongoing discussion.
“Because it’s an ongoing discussion, I don’t want to get in the middle of that. Let us see how they evolve,” he said while answering a query at a media conference here.
Verma said they would wait for the outcome of the Seoul NSG meet.
“We have been supportive (of India’s bid for NSG membership) at the highest possible level and we will continue to do so,” he added.
“I don’t want to answer hypothetical questions,” he quipped when asked if India fails to get NSG membership will it affect the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
“We are committed to nuclear cooperation. We are committed to this arrangement and we are also committed to India’s accession to NSG,” he said.
The ambassador recalled that it was six years ago that President Barack Obama affirmed strong support for India’s entry into the NSG. “We reaffirmed that many times over the years. We worked with India on its membership. We think they present a strong case and have been strongly supportive of its accession (to NSG),” he said.
On Britain voting to leave the European Union, the envoy said it was for the people of Britain to judge now how best to take this forward.
“It was a democratic process; we have to see how the implementation rolls out. This is something for the people of Great Britain to judge now how best to take this forward,” he said.
He recalled that President Obama had hoped Britain would remain in the EU. “But this is how that nation took on a different path. We have to see how implementation rolls out in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.
On Raghuram Rajan’s exit as Governor of Reserve Bank of India, the ambassador termed this as an internal matter of India. He hoped that the US would continue to have a “terrific dialogue” with his successor.