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Foreign Secretary Jaishankar may travel to Seoul for India’s NSG push

NEW DELHI(PTI): Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar may travel to Seoul to push for India’s bid for NSG membership at the two-day plenary of the 48-nation grouping starting June 23, 2016.

Foreign Secretary Jaishankar. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

According to government sources, the Foreign Secretary is watching the situation “very closely” and, depending on the “feedback” from the official-level meeting of NSG ahead of the crucial plenary on Thursday and Friday in the South Korean capital, he may travel to Seoul to give a “final push”. The official-level session of NSG started on Monday.

With China leading the opposition against India’s entry into the elite Nuclear Supplier’s Group, New Delhi is in a diplomatic overdrive to reach out to countries to support its bid.

Senior External Affairs Ministry Official Amandeep Singh Gill, in-charge of the Disarmament & International Security division, is already in Seoul to “garner” support as well as “explain” India’s case, sources said.

The main meeting of the NSG plenary on June 24, 2016 will happen a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Tashkent for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, which is also being attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mr. Modi may meet Mr. Xi on the sidelines of the SCO summit and raise the issue of India’s NSG membership but whether the discussions pave the way for a seat for New Delhi at the nuclear high table is a moot point.

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