A peaceful resolution of the border row between India and China is crucial for regional and global stability, senior officials of the European Union(EU) said on Tuesday, a day ahead of a virtual summit between leaders of India and the 27-nation grouping.
The officials said the EU has been keeping an eye on the border standoff between the two “powerful” countries and hoped that both sides will continue to have dialogue in order to find a peaceful solution to their differences.
The 15th EU-India summit is taking place in the midst of the bitter border row between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian delegation at the summit will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the European side will be headed by President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen The EU is a strategically important region for India.
“We are pleased to see that since the very deadly clashes took place on the Line of Actual Control, both sides have committed to show restraint and to engage in military de-escalation as well as in engaging in dialogue,” said one of the EU officials.
Reports showed there have been withdrawal of troops by both sides from key areas and diplomatic and military efforts are having “de-escalatory effects”, he said, adding the 27-nation bloc supports good neighbourly relations between India and China.
“India and China are two powerful countries globally. Peaceful resolution of their differences is crucial for regional and global stability,” said another official.
“We have certainly received detailed information on how each of the two governments was seeing clashes at the border. They are now talking to each other. We are pleased to see that,” the official added.
Asked whether the India-China border row will figured in Wednesday’s talks, the officials did not give a direct reply but said regional and global issues of importance generally figure in the parleys.
The officials said relations with countries like China, the US and Russia are important and they usually figure in the talks.
The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for over eight weeks since May 5.
The tension escalated manifold after the violent clashes in Galwan Valley on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed.
However, following a series of diplomatic and military talks, the two sides began a mutual disengagement process on July 6 and withdrew troops from most of the friction points. The two sides are now holding talks on further de-escalation of tension and restore peace and tranquillity in eastern Ladakh.
The EU as a whole was India’s largest trading partner in 2018. India’s bilateral trade with the EU in 2018-19 stood at USD 115.6 billion with exports valued at USD 57.17 billion and imports worth USD 58.42 billion.
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