India was willing to look at any suggestion if its “sensitivities” are taken into account, the external affairs ministry said today while reacting to Russia’s call asking New Delhi to find a way out to join China’s mega One Belt One Road connectivity initiative. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday had pitched for India joining the project, hoping that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega project without sacrificing its position over it. “On this particular suggestion, also I think I have mentioned in the past that if there are suggestions, if there is a view which takes into account our sensitivities in the matter then there is something which we are willing to look at,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
He also said India’s position on OBOR is “very clear”. India has opposed the OBOR due to its sovereignty concerns over the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). CPEC is part of the OBOR. About India’s opposition to the project, the Russian foreign minister had said, “The specific problem in this regard should not make everything else conditional for resolving political differences.”
Asked about Lavrov’s comment during an interactive session at a think tank that all stakeholders including Taliban should be part of political dialogue in Afghanistan, Kumar said India supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-controlled and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in that country. “We support the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan which are Afghan led, Afghan controlled and Afghan owned. We have enjoyed a close association with the country and we are committed to assist Afghanistan in its nation building efforts,” the spokesperson said.