Unresolved situation along LAC in Ladakh impacting ties in negative manner, Jaishankar tells Chinese counterpart

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held one-hour bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held one-hour bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that disengagement of troops in the Pangong Lake area earlier this year had created conditions for resolving the remaining issues along the LAC but the situation in remaining areas is still unresolved.

Jaishankar conveyed that prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side and was visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner.

The minister met Wang Yi, who is also a State Councilor on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers' meeting at Dushanbe in Tajikistan. The two ministers had a detailed exchange of views on the current situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh and also on other issues related to the overall India-China relations.

A Ministry of External Affairs statement said that Jaishankar conveyed that the attempts to change the status quo last year that also disregarded commitments under the 1993 and 1996 agreements have inevitably affected ties.

During the meeting that lasted nearly an hour, Jaishankar emphasized that it was in mutual interest that the two sides work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols.

The two leaders agreed that a meeting of Senior Military Commanders should be convened at the earliest and the two sides should discuss all the remaining issues and seek a mutually acceptable solution.

Recalling their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020, the External Affairs Minister emphasized the need to follow through on the agreement reached then and complete the disengagement, resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh at the earliest.

"EAM pointed out to State Councilor that the successful disengagement in the Pangong Lake Area earlier this year had created conditions for resolving the remaining issues. It was expected that the Chinese side would work with us towards this objective. EAM noted however that the situation in remaining areas is still unresolved," the statement said.

"EAM recalled that both sides had agreed that a prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. It was visibly impacting the relationship in a negative manner," it added.

Assessing the overall relationship, Jaishankar emphasized that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas has been the foundation for the development of ties since 1988.

"The attempts to change status quo last year that also disregarded commitments under the 1993 and 1996 agreements have inevitably affected ties. He emphasized that it was, therefore, in mutual interest that the two sides work towards early resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols," the release said.

The two ministers noted the agreement between both sides in the last meeting of the WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs) on June 25 this year to hold another round of the Meeting of Senior Military Commanders and "agreed that this should be convened at the earliest".

"They also agreed that in this meeting, the two sides should discuss all the remaining issues and seek a mutually acceptable solution. There was also an understanding that both sides will continue to ensure stability on the ground and neither side will take any unilateral action that could increase tension," the statement said.

The two ministers agreed to remain in touch, the release said.

India and China had successfully disengaged in the Pangong lake area earlier this year following a standoff along LAC and but discussions have not led to progress towards disengagement from remaining friction points including Gogra heights, Hot Springs and Depsang Plains. (ANI)

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