Connectivity projects should be based on international norms: EU envoy

New Delhi, Feb 6 : In the light of China's One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR), European Union Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said on Tuesday that connectivity projects should be based on international norms and transparency.

"Concerning OBOR, we, as the European Union, are very much interested in improving or expanding connectivity in today's globalised world, including connectivity between India, between Asia and Europe," Kozlowski said during a media roundtable here.

"But at the same time, we think that any connectivity initiative should be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and must follow principles of financial accountability," he added.

His comments assume significance as India has so far refused to participate in the OBOR project as one of its major sections, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), passes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir and New Delhi has made it clear that the CPEC violates the territorial integrity of India.

Observers also say that Beijing has put participating nations in the OBOR project under debt trap.

"From one side we are positive about any connectivity routes.

"We are working on making of connectivity between Asia and Europe but we are of the position that it should be implemented on the basis of certain rules and principles."

He also said that the EU, as a rules-based organisation, was in favour of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), and his remarks come against the backdrop of China's aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea and attempts to increase its influence in the Indian Ocean region.

"We think that such rules should be applied to all disputes and conflicts, including in the South China Sea and in the Indian Ocean as well," Kozlowski said.

"For us, as for India, it is important to keep sea lanes, communication lanes open for all users," he added.



Source: IANS