India-France can act as harbinger of peace, stability: Naidu

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday described India-France strategic partnership as an important pillar of India’s foreign policy and said both the nuclear power countries could act as a harbinger of peace and stability.

“India always believed in peaceful co-existence with all countries, including its neighbours. We don’t want anybody to interfere in the internal affairs of our country, nor do we interfere in the affairs of other countries,” he said during an interaction with a delegation of French Parliamentarians.

Naidu also called for closer cooperation between India and France to promote peace and harmony in the world.

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Observing that India valued its partnership with France on defense cooperation, maritime security, counter-terrorism, space co-operation, economic partnership, and the other areas, the Vice President suggested the setting up of Indo-French Parliamentary Friendship Group to promote closer ties between the two nations.

He also expressed happiness over France’s decision to partner with India under the ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives.

“India’s development needs require massive investments in urban renewal and clean energy,” he said.

Calling for greater trade, technology, and capital flows between the two nations, Naidu said the bilateral trade momentum needs to be multiplied to reach the set target of trade in goods to 15 bn Euros by 2022.

Naidu said climate change was an article of faith for the Indian government and reaffirmed India’s commitment to Paris agreements.

“India is on way to achieving the goals well in advance,” he said. Referring to the longstanding and multifaceted space cooperation between India and France through ISRO and CNES, Naidu said, “We are committed to carrying forward this cooperation.”

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