New Delhi: The US is committed to ensuring India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a top American diplomat said on Wednesday, expressing "regret" that his government was unsuccessful in making it a member of the grouping at its pleanary in Seoul last week.
Calling India an "anchor of stability" in the Asia Pacifc region, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon also said what China was doing in South China Sea is "madness" and it wants New Delhi to play a major role in the Indian Ocean.
During an interactive session at the Foreign Service Institute, he also said managing the rise of China was a major challenge and that the US wants to work with India to have a strong and comprehensive presence in the Indian Ocean.
Describing India a responsible and important player in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation, Shannon said, "We are committed to having India join the Nuclear Suppliers Group. We believe that through the kind of work we have done, the civil nuclear agreement, the way India conducted itself, it is worthy of this."
In an apparent reference to China opposing India's NSG bid, the official said one country can break consensus in a consensus-based organisation while asserting that such member should be held accountable.
"We understand that in a consensus-based organisation, one country can break consensus. But in order to do so it must be accountable, not isolated," he said.
Last week, India had failed in its bid in getting entry into the elite atomic trading bloc in the face of strong China-led opposition.
Shannon, who met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar earlier in the day, said India's recent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) highlighted that the country is a "responsible and important player in the road to non- proliferation."
"We regret, in Seoul we and India, were unable to open space necessary to allow India to move into the NSG at this moment," he said.
He said both countries will have to work to ensure that India's bid is successful next time the issue is taken up by the NSG.
"I think what we need to do going forward is, for both of us India and the US, sit down and take a call on what happened in Seoul, take a close look at the diplomatic process which is significant and see what more we can do to ensure that next time we are successful.
When asked whether he thinks India will ratify the Paris climate deal before Obama administration's tenure got over and, at the same time, it will become a member of the NSG, he said "I hope so". He said India has given a commitment to ratify the climate deal....