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China to play constructive role in NSG talks

By The Assam Tribune

BEIJING, June 22 - In an apparent climb down, China today said it will play a �constructive� role in the discussions on India�s bid for membership of the 48-member NSG but at the same maintained that the issue was not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told PTI that NSG members had three rounds of unofficial discussions on the entry of India and Pakistan into the grouping.

�China hopes to discuss further this issue and will play a constructive role in the discussions,� she said.

�Although parties are yet to see eye-to-eye on this issue, such discussions help them better understand each other,� she said. At the same time, Hua said the entry of India and Pakistan is not on the agenda of the NSG grouping�s meeting in Seoul.

�Deliberation on the entry of specific countries is on the agenda of the Seoul Plenary meeting. However, it is worth noting that the NSG Plenary meeting in Seoul is only to deliberate on the entry of members who signed the NPT,� she said.

Meanwhile, France joined the US in strongly backing India�s bid for NSG, which begins a two- day plenary tomorrow in Seoul, where Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar arrived to garner support in the 48-nation grouping which is divided over the issue.

France volunteered a statement today to assert that India�s participation in nuclear control regimes will help better regulate the export of sensitive goods, whether they are nuclear, chemical, biological, ballistic or conventional materials and technologies. � PTI

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