The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) continued discussions on admitting India to the group, but apparently remained divided on the issue during its annual plenary meeting last month in Seattle.
The Australian Labor Party on Dec. 4 endorsed a proposal by its leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, to end a ban on uranium sales to India. The 206-185 vote to lift the long-standing ban came at a party conference in Sydney.
Fulfilling a commitment made at the United Nations in July, the world’s five recognized nuclear-weapon states met in Geneva on Aug. 30 to discuss ways to break the logjam at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on a proposed treaty to ban the production of fissile materials for weapons. However, the states, known as the P5 because they also are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, did not agree to pursue negotiations outside the CD, where Pakistan remains opposed to treaty talks.
The Group of Eight major economies agreed to extend a 2002 initiative aimed at securing and eliminating nonconventional weapons and materials. The decision comes a year before the original mandate for the effort was set to expire.
A planned civilian nuclear deal between China and Pakistan is moving to completion although it has prompted concerns within the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
In spite of a U.S. pledge of support for Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), New Delhi is not likely to enter the group anytime soon, sources said last month.