ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reached out to Mexico and Italy seeking support for its NSG membership bid, stepping up diplomatic efforts for its inclusion in the elite 48-nation bloc whose membership India is also eyeing.
"Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz spoke over telephone with Mexican Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu as part of Pakistan's continuing diplomatic efforts towards mobilising support for Pakistan's application for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," a Foreign Office statement said here.
He highlighted Pakistan's credentials for the NSG membership with a view to seek Mexico's support.
The Mexican Foreign Minister expressed support for a non-discriminatory approach on NSG expansion to states which have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the statement added.
Significantly, Mexico had expressed its backing to India this week during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there. The Mexican support followed that of the US and Switzerland. Japan too has expressed its support for India's inclusion.
"Adviser Sartaj Aziz spoke with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentilioni to seek support for Pakistan application for NSG membership. They had a very cordial exchange," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria tweeted on Wednesday.
As part of Pakistan's diplomatic push towards mobilising support for Pakistan's application for NSG membership, Aziz had earlier this week also spoke over telephone with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
On Wednesday, Aziz also contacted Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully and Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea Yun Byung-se to highlight Pakistan's credentials for the NSG membership with a view to seek their support.
Pakistan's push to secure NSG membership comes at a time when India is also looking to secure membership of the elite grouping.
With the US pushing its case, India's bid for NSG membership has received positive indications from most of the member countries but China is still playing the spoiler by persisting with its opposition.