The U.S. State Department is sending a high-ranking delegation to Vienna to
attend a critical meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group on India's nuclear
The 45-nation group will meet on Thursday and Friday to review a
new U.S. plan crafted after several member countries rejected Washington's bid
to win a trade waiver for India.
Undersecretary of State for Political
Affairs William Burns and State Department arms control chief John Rood will
represent the U.S. side.
In a landmark deal, the United States has agreed
to sell nuclear fuel and technology to India, which has not signed the Nuclear
Both New Delhi and Washington want a "clean and
unconditional" waiver for India. But some supplier nations have pushed for
conditions, including the revocation of trade privileges should India conduct
another nuclear weapons test.
Before the U.S.
Congress can give the deal final approval, it has to be cleared by both the
International Atomic Energy Agency and the nuclear suppliers' consortium.
Last month, the IAEA approved crucial details of the plan but the NSG
has failed to reach a decision.
Without early NSG approval, the U.S.
Congress may run out of time for ratification before it adjourns at the end of
the month for the November U.S. presidential election.
Suppliers Group imposed its nuclear trade ban in the 1970s after India tested
its first atomic bomb.