M Venkaiah Naidu
M Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday asserted that India believes in peaceful co-existence with all countries, including its neighbours, but does not want any interference in its internal affairs, remarks seen as an oblique reference to Pakistan.

New Delhi has maintained that its decision to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter and has slammed Islamabad's efforts to internationalise the issue. Several countries have sided with India's stand.

"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", Naidu told a French delegation here according to a statement issued by his secretariat.

He was interacting with a delegation of French parliamentarians led by Chair and Senate Standing Committee for Economic Affairs Sophie Primas here. The vice president called for closer cooperation between India and France to promote peace and harmony in the world.

Observing that India valued its partnership with France on defence cooperation, maritime security, counter-terrorism, space cooperation, economic partnership and other areas, Naidu suggested the setting up of a 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 massive investments in urban renewal and clean energy, Naidu added.

Calling for greater trade, technology and capital flow between the two nations, the vice president said the bilateral trade momentum needs to be multiplied to reach the set target of trade in goods to Euro 15 billion by 2022.

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