Puducherry

CAB, NRC are internal issues of India, says French Ambassador

Emmanuel Lenain, French Ambassador to India, addresses the media at the French Consulate in Puducherry on Friday. French Consul General Catherine Suard, is also seen

Emmanuel Lenain, French Ambassador to India, addresses the media at the French Consulate in Puducherry on Friday. French Consul General Catherine Suard, is also seen   | Photo Credit: S. S. KUMAR

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French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said the Bill and the Register were issues on which other countries should refrain from commenting

France is aware of the internal debate going on in India over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and National Register of Citizens but these are issues on which other countries should refrain from commenting, French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said in Puducherry on Friday.

Interacting with a select group of reporters at the French Consulate, Mr Lenain said “These are issues obviously discussed during official deliberations. We are aware of the ongoing debate in India on CAB and NRC. But I don’t think another government should interfere in India’s domestic affairs.”

On the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation, the ambassador said France respects India’s democratic system. The country is the world’s largest democracy, he added. “Some issues are domestic and there are some issues that are decided through a democratic process and it reflects the will of majority. Our country is also attached to certain values and shares those with India,” he said.

Recalling the statement of French President Emmanuel Macron on Article 370, he said the Jammu and Kashmir issue was complex in nature. “It can only be solved through bilateral discussions. There is no benefit in internationalising the issue. We are following the situation very carefully and wish the situation comes back normal. It can return to normal,” Mr Lenain said.

Expressing confidence about the prospects of strengthening the relationship between India and France, the ambassador said from May this year, universities in both countries have started recognising each others’ diplomas, degrees and doctorate degrees. The recognition of degrees would help students from both countries pursue higher education courses.

During the current calendar year, around 10,000 Indian students were studying in educational institutions in France. France planned to increase the intake of Indian students to 25,000 from 2020 to 2025, he said.

Taking the collaboration between the two countries further, he said tourist visas to eligible Indians are issued within 48 hours. Around 8 lakh Indians have visited France on the Schengen visa this year, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:48:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/cab-nrc-are-internal-issues-of-india-says-french-ambassador/article30296634.ece

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