The US on 24 June said that there is "a path forward" for India to become a full member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by the end of the year. The US' remarks come hours after the NSG's plenary meeting ended in Seoul with no decision on India's membership in the face of strong China-led opposition.
"We are confident that we have got a path forward by the end of this year," a top Obama administration official said. "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 official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Refusing to divulge the discussions and opposition to India's membership within the 48-member grouping, the official said details of the internal deliberations are confidential.
But the US strongly believes in India's membership in the NSG and the Obama Administration has "worked closely" with New Delhi and other countries on this issues, the official said.
Without going into details of deliberations, the official referred to a similar discussion within the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) to which India was inducted early this month after months of discussions within its member countries. Like NSG, decisions within the MTCR are taken with consensus.
"We expected a discussion on the role that India will play and where it has been," said the official, adding, "We were able to end discussion this week and we have a clear path forward for India to become a full member by the end of the year".
"That's our expectation," the senior administration official reiterated when asked if US expects that India's NSG membership could be achieved by the end of this year.
"Our expectations is that this would be finished by the end of this year," the official said.
The NSG ended its plenary meeting in Seoul with no decision on India's membership. China, which had made no secret of its opposition, succeeded in scuttling India's bid despite a significant majority backing the Indian case. Thirty-eight countries supported India, according to Indian officials.