April 3, 2021 3:05:31 am
India on Friday said that it hoped that China will work with it to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas of eastern Ladakh is completed at the earliest.
Speaking on the standoff with China in Ladakh, which began in May 2020, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “After the disengagement in Pangong Lake area, we have had the tenth round of Senior Commanders meeting, a telecon between the External Affairs Minister (S Jaishankar) and his Chinese counterpart and a WMCC interaction on March 12.”
He mentioned that there is “a consensus that the two sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh” and that the “disengagement in Pangong Lake area was a significant step forward and it has provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in western sector”.
Bagchi added, “At both the Senior Commanders meeting and the WMCC, the two sides had detailed exchange of views on the remaining issues. The two sides continue to remain in touch through military and diplomatic channels.”
According to the MEA spokesperson, Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart that “a prolongation of the situation is in neither side’s interest. We therefore hope that the Chinese side will work with us to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas is completed at the earliest. This would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress of our bilateral relationship”.
Responding to a question on Pakistan’s flip-flop on opening trade with India, Bagchi said that “we are not the right party to whom this question should be directed”. He stated that he was “not aware of any interaction with the Pakistani delegation” during the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on March 30, at which Jaishankar and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were present.
Asked to comment on reports that due to an increased demand, India’s vaccine exports to other nations have slowed down, the MEA spokesperson said, “India has taken the lead on sending the vaccines abroad… No country has shared with the world the number of vaccines that India has, while vaccinating its own population.”
He added that India has till date supplied vaccines to more than 80 countries.
“Our external supplies would be done keeping in mind our domestic requirements. At this time I am sure that our partners understand that vaccines are primarily purposed for domestic consumption. I want to emphasise that we have not imposed any export ban on vaccines. Regarding the concerns of other countries, our position has been suitably conveyed through our official channels,” Bagchi said.
About a recent US State Department report on human rights issues in India, Bagchi said, “This is clearly an internal exercise of the US government… We are not party to it.”
He added, “As a general approach we expect that there should be a proper understanding of developments in India.”
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