British Premier David Cameron confirmed Britain's backing for India's membership of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in a telephone call to PM Modi.
British Premier David Cameron confirmed Britain’s backing for India’s membership of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in a telephone call to PM Modi.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — British Prime Minister David Cameron has assured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the United Kingdom will provide “firm support” of his efforts to gain membership during the next meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which currently has a membership base of 48 nations.

“The Prime Minister confirmed that the UK would firmly support India’s application,” a Downing Street spokesperson said Friday. “They agreed that in order for the bid to be successful it would be important for India to continue to strengthen its non-proliferation credentials, including by reinforcing the separation between civil and military nuclear activity.”

During their phone conversation, Cameron and Modi also discussed the importance of fostering the relationship between the two nations on other fronts, something that has been showcased by heads of state from both countries visiting each other.

“They agreed that the UK-India relationship was going from strength to strength, including through the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and wife Kate),” the spokesperson said.

The U.S. has also pushed aggressively for India’s membership into the NSG, efforts have included penning letters to current members with an endorsement. The U.S. has asked for the group to consider adding India to the fold during its plenary meeting in Seoul on June 24.

While the majority of members have backed India’s joining, China, New Zealand, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and Austria have opposed. China’s opposition stems from the fact that India has not yet signed a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has lobbied Pakistan, a close ally, be added also should India be granted membership.

Indian officials have said the signing of a treaty is not essential to its membership of the group, citing that France was granted membership without signing such a document.

The NSG analyzes critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its members are granted permission to trade and export nuclear technology. Should India be allowed, the membership would significantly expand the country’s atomic energy sector. India has sought out countless other NSG-member nations in its efforts to join, membership is dependent on a consensus, requiring unanimous approval.