India and US may cooperate on nuclear agenda

India and the United States are negotiating over India’s entry into the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG) also known as the ‘London Club’ of nuclear suppliers.

NSG membership is a key to eventual recognition of India’s status as a nuclear power by the world. Sources said besides the US support that has doubled after it declared Pakistan a non-NATO ally, India’s efforts to join the club have been encouraged by assurances by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac. These leaders are arguing for changing NSG rules, which prohibit countries that refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) from membership of the group.

Last week there were indications that New Delhi was making progress in this direction when an NSG team, headed by its current chair, Chang-Beom Cho of South Korea, visited New Delhi at the US initiative for the group’s first ever talks with India. Other members of the delegation were representatives of Sweden and the Czech Republic.[Daily Times]