Updated: April 9, 2021 7:49:36 am
Ahead of another round of high-level military talks with China, India on Thursday said it would like to see disengagement at remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh that could lead to restoration of peace and tranquillity along the frontier and provide conditions for progress of overall bilateral ties.
The 11th round of Corps Commander talks is scheduled to start at 10.30 am on Friday at the Chushul border point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. Sources said outstanding problems, including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra, will be taken up at the talks by the Indian side.
The 10th round of military talks took place on February 20, two days after the armies of the two countries concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from North and South banks of Pangong lake areas. The talks lasted for around 16 hours.
At a media briefing on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi underlined the need for disengagement in remaining areas in eastern Ladakh. “We would like to see disengagement in the remaining areas which would lead to de-escalation in eastern Ladakh and that would hopefully lead to restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress of our overall bilateral relationship,” he said.
The Indian delegation at Friday’s talks is to be led by Lt Gen P G K Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
China, meanwhile, said it believed that India’s proposal for restoration of the status quo of April 2020 at eastern Ladakh should be discussed in meetings between the two countries.
It also said there is no delay in holding talks with India to discuss the disengagement of troops from the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh. At a media briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denied any delay in holding the 11th round of talks. His response came when pointed out that it is going to be about two months since the first disengagement took place and a month since the 10th round of talks on the disengagement of troops.
“There is no delayed meeting as you cited. I want to stress that the merits of the situation at the India-China border are very clear and the responsibility does not rest with the Chinese side,” Zhao said. “We hope the Indian side will work with China to follow through the important consensus of our two state leaders, abide by relevant agreements and treaties to de-escalate the tension at the border.”
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