India on Thursday said it continues to engage with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for support for an early decision on the country’s bid for membership of the grouping. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in Rajya Sabha that the US has publicly reaffirmed its support for India’s entry into the NSG.

“The government continues to engage with members of the NSG, at the appropriate levels, for support for an early decision on India’s membership by the group,” he said, replying to a question.

The 48-member NSG is an elite club of countries that deals with the trade in nuclear technology and fissile materials besides contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

China has been stridently opposing India’s NSG bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Its opposition has made India’s entry into the group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

Muraleedharan also said the government has been according the “highest priority” to advance the UN Security Council (UNSC) reforms, including India’s candidature for permanent membership in a “reformed Security Council”.

“India is actively engaged in the ongoing inter-governmental negotiations on the UNSC reform at the UN and has been working with other reform-oriented countries through its membership of the G-4 (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan) and the L.69 Group,” he said.

The L.69 is a cross-regional grouping of developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“The US has expressed public support to India’s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC,” the minister said.

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