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US expresses deepest condolences to India over killing of soldiers in Ladakh

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to Twitter to say, "We extend our deepest condolences to the people of India for the lives lost as a result of the recent confrontation with China. We will remember the soldiers' families, loved ones, and communities as they grieve."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 19, 2020 11:35:51 am
US condoles Indian army deaths, India china border dispute, Mike Pompeo, Donald trump, world news, Indian express Mike Pompeo expressed his condolences to India hours after his meeting with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi. (Reuters/File)

Four days after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley of Ladakh, the United States Thursday expressed its deepest condolences to India for the loss of lives.

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“We extend our deepest condolences to the people of India for the lives lost as a result of the recent confrontation with China. We will remember the soldiers’ families, loved ones, and communities as they grieve,” tweeted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

This came hours after his meeting with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi. However, the State Department did not say if the recent India-China confrontation along the Line of Actual Control in East Ladakh appeared during the Pompeo-Yang talks in Hawaii.

In the worst flare-up on the Line of Actual Control in more than five decades, twenty Indian Army personnel, including the commanding officer of 16 Bihar, were killed Monday night in Galwan valley where disengagement of troops on either side was underway.

Also Read | Hectic negotiations lead to return of 10 Indian soldiers from Chinese custody

On Thursday, the White House had said President Donald Trump is aware of the fierce clashes between the Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. “The president is aware of it. We’re monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany had said.

Stressing that there are no formal plans to mediate between India and China, McEnany said, “No formal plans on that beyond what I already said in expressing our absolute condolences to the Indian soldiers that died as a result of today’s confrontation. We extend our deepest condolences there.”

Read | Why Ladakh matters to India and China  

On May 29, reiterating his offer to mediate on the border dispute between India and China, US President Donald Trump had said that he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is not in a “good mood” over the “big conflict” between the two countries.

“They have a big conflict – India and China. Two countries with 1.4 billion people (each). Two countries with very powerful militaries. India is not happy and probably China is not happy. I can tell you; I did speak to Prime Minister Modi. He is not in a good mood about what is going on with China,” the president had said.

Galwan is the site where the current disengagement process has begun. Last Saturday, General Naravane told reporters that both sides were disengaging in a phased manner, and it had started from the Galwan region.

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