France Ambassador calls on Dr Jitendra Singh; discusses J&K, Northeast

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NEW DELHI: Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh and discussed Jammu & Kashmir as well as Northeast.

The Ambassador recalled the fond memories of his visit to Jammu & Kashmir early this year as a member of the group of Ambassadors visiting the Union Territory. He said, his government is clear in its stand that Jammu & Kashmir is an internal matter of India.

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The Ambassador conveyed to the Union Minister, the desire of the Government of France to explore tourism and other potentials in Jammu & Kashmir. The Minister mentioned to the Ambassador some of the latest development projects and public initiatives undertaken in Jammu & Kashmir.

Lenain also expressed France’s desire to explore the avenues and opportunities of collaboration in different sectors in the North Eastern States.

Dr Jitendra Singh spelt out different sectors in which, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, collaborative initiatives had been taken in the Northeast. In this regard, he referred to the Centre of Excellence Citrus Fruit Park set up at Mizoram with Israel collaboration and collaboration of Japan in some of the infrastructural works.

As for Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there were vast areas of unexplored potential which were waiting to be explored. These, he said, included tourism, handicraft, handloom as well as food and fruit sectors.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only given special emphasis to the development of the North Eastern region but also reoriented “Look East Policy” into “Act-East” policy and taken a number of steps to increase engagement with the countries across the eastern borders. In this regard, he also mentioned the Indo-Bangladesh Agreement on the exchange of Enclaves, which was finalized with the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also the Prime Minister’s initiative to amend 100 year old Indian Forest Act to promote Bamboo products and their trade.