India, China claim 'candid, in-depth' talks to resolve border dispute

Virtual talks were held under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs
India and China on Thurs­day agreed to resolve outstanding issues in an “expeditious manner” and in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said after the two sides held a fresh round of diplom­atic talks to resolve the border standoff in eastern Ladakh.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the two sides had a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on the existing situation on the Line of Actual Control(LAC), and reaffirmed to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of the troops in the western sector.

The virtual talks were held under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Con­sultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs.

“The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the existing situation in the India-China border areas,” Srivastava said at an online media briefing.

“They reaffirmed that in accordance with the agreements reached between the two foreign ministers and the two Special Representatives, the two sides will continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control in the western sector.” 

Srivastava further said: “In this context, they agreed to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner and in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols.” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had held a telephonic conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on June 17 during which both sides agreed that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner.

On July 5, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Wang held a nearly two-hour-long telephonic conversation on ways to resolve the border row. The formal process of disengagement of troops began a day after Doval-Wang parleys. Both Doval and Wang are Special Represen­tatives for boundary talks.

 
Referring to the outcome of Thursday's talks, Srivastava said the two sides were in agreement that restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas would be essential for the overall development of bilateral relations.

“The two sides further acknowledged the need to maintain close communication through both the diplomatic and military channels so as to ensure complete disengagement. In this regard, they also agreed to continue their ongoing engagements including through the meetings of the WMCC,” he added.

The Indian delegation at the 18th meeting of the WMCC on border affairs was led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry while the Chinese side was headed by Hong Liang, Director General of the Boundary and Oceanic Department of the China's Foreign Ministry.

According to a statement by the Chinese Foreign ministry, the two sides positively evaluated the progress made in the disengagement of the front-line forces of the two countries, exchanged candid and in-depth views on the remaining issues on the ground, and enhanced mutual understanding.

The two sides agreed to implement the consensus reached between the two foreign ministers and the Special Representatives on China-India boundary question, continue to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and to maintain tranquility in the border areas, it said.


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