|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
N-deal suffers setback at suppliers meet
March 24, 2006 22:35 IST
The United States has failed to persuade the Nuclear Suppliers Group to include the issue of allowing India to buy sensitive nuclear technology from world market on its agenda for the Rio de Janeiro plenary session to be held in May.
In what is seen as a setback to Washington, a US delegation led by US Assistant Secretaries of State Richard Boucher and Stephen Rademaker failed to convince countries like Japan and China at the 45-nation NSG's two-day consultative meeting in Vienna on Wednesday and yesterday.
'The NSG consultative group meeting wrapped up today and in a setback for the Bush Administration, there was no agreement to put the US proposal on the formal agenda of the plenary meeting in May,' Executive Director of Arms Control Association Daryl Kimball said in an e-mail.
Washington wants the NSG to discuss exempting India from nuclear export controls. Kimball said: 'There was a general discussion of the US-India nuclear deal. But, apparently, there was no specific discussion on the text that the US began circulating last week that would create a loophole in NSG trade restrictions.
'Thirty delegations spoke. As expected, France and the UK expressed support for the proposal, but the other countries, including Japan and China, asked numerous questions, some very critical,' Kimball claimed.
'This situation could theoretically change, but even if the US works quickly to revise its proposed changes to NSG guidelines to make a country-specific exemption for India, it is highly unlikely that the NSG states will act on such controversial new proposal at their May meeting,' he added.
'This means that the administration will have an even harder time convincing a skeptical Congress that they must act quickly to exempt India from US nuclear trade restrictions,' Kimball said.