Will Be Happy To Re-Initiate Discussion Between India And EU On FTA: French Envoy Emmanuel Lenain

France would love to re-initiate the discussions on free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU), French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said here on Monday.

"Right now discussions are stalemated but we would be happy to launch it once again. To relaunch them, we need to have an ambitious agreement. Otherwise, it is of no use," Ambassador Lenain told ANI.

Negotiations for a comprehensive FTA between the EU and India were launched in 2007 but were suspended in 2013 due to a gap in the level of ambition between the EU and India, according to the website of the European Commission.

The EU remains committed to working towards an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced agreement FTA with India that responds to each side's key interests and is a win-win.

Ensuring a high level of investment protection in order to remain an attractive destination for new investments is also a key dimension, the website added.

Expressing his views further on the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the envoy said: "I don't think it is apt to any foreign country to comment on domestic law in India. India is a large democracy and has the rule of law."

He added that the Act is a "domestic matter" and France respects India as a democracy.

Although, speaking about the advisory issued by the Embassy for its nationals travelling to India's northeast areas, Lenain said: "Each time you have demonstrations in the country, you issue advisory saying that visitors and citizens should refrain from going to such areas and make sure they know about the information, which is being given."

Lenain also reiterated France's backing to India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

The envoy, concludingly, focused on strengthening ties between India and France.

"We are going to make it stronger. We have a great level of trust and a great level of strategic confidence. We share values. We are democracies. We are now going to use this partnership to have influence in the region. Partnership in the Indo-Pacific to reach new heights," the envoy said further.

"We have to work together in fields including cyberspace and artificial intelligence. We are also going to work together to enhance the economic cooperation between the two countries," he added.

Source : Business Standard

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