US President Barack Obama reiterated his country’s strong support for India’s NSG bid during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the ASEAN meet at Vientiane, the capital of Laos. A White House official, giving details of the meeting, said, “Reaffirming the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and India, the President underscored that the United States strongly supports India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).”
The two leaders also discussed the deepening the civil nuclear cooperation and combating climate change. It was their eight meeting in the last two years and would probably be the last because Obama is set to vacate office this January.
Though China has been the biggest thorn in the way of India’s NSG path, the United States has only strengthened its support for New Delhi’s inclusion in the elite 48-member club.
Obama also praised the passage of the GST bill which has now become a law following President Pranab Mukherjee signing it. The US President has been particularly supportive of India’s leadership under the Modi government which he said is “very important for a country like India”. Besides growing ties in renewable energy sectors, India and the US are also forging close strategic ties with Washington ready to supply crucial weapons and military equipment to New Delhi including Predator drones. Washington was instrumental in India’s entry in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016, which opened the door for New Delhi to become a more pronounced and influential power in the world. The same month, however, China blocked India’s entry into the NSG.