In talks with Chinese FM, Jaishankar calls for full implementation of Moscow pact on Ladakh row

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New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said he discussed with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the issue of 'full and sincere' implementation of an agreement reached between the two countries on complete disengagement at all friction points in eastern Ladakh.

The issue figured during a phone conversation that was initiated by Wang to convey China's sympathies to India on the COVID-19 situation.

'Received a call from State Councilor & FM Wang Yi conveying China's sympathies at the COVID challenge now faced by India. Discussed the international cooperation aspects of the public health response to this difficult situation,' Jaishankar tweeted.

The external affairs minister said he highlighted the importance of supply chains and air flights be kept open in these circumstances.

'Welcomed his assurances in that regard, as also more openness to Indian chartered flights. Discussed the international cooperation aspects of the public health response to this difficult situation,' he said.

There were reports of difficulties being faced by some US firms in sending medical shipments to India from China.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday said there was an impact on some of the supplies following suspension of flights by Sichuan Airlines.

'Also discussed the issue of full and sincere implementation of the Moscow Agreement of complete disengagement at all friction points along the LAC and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in Eastern Ladakh. Agreed to continue discussions in this respect,' Jaishankar said.

India and China reached a five-point agreement to resolve the eastern Ladakh border row during talks between Jaishankar and Wang at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) conclave.

The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.

India and China were locked in military standoff at multiple friction points in eastern Ladakh since early May last year but they have completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February following a series of military and diplomatic talks.

The two sides are now engaged in talks to extend the disengagement process to the remaining friction points.

There was no visible forward movement in disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points as the Chinese side did not show flexibility in their approach on it at the 11th round of military talks with the Indian Army on April 9.

There were reports of China further strengthening its positions in some of the friction points. PTI MPB ZMN