New Delhi (NVI): De-escalation of forces in Eastern Ladakh alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquility and provide conditions for progress in India-China bilateral relationship, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.
While addressing the weekly press briefing here, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that India expects China to work and cooperate with it, “both through the WMCC and Senior Commanders’ meetings, 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 tranquility and provide conditions for progress in our bilateral relationship,” he said.
The MEA statement comes days after both the armies completed their disengagement process last month at Pangong Tso in Ladakh.
Srivastava recalled February 25 telephone conversation between the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after the completion of disengagement. “EAM had emphasized that with the completion of disengagement in the Pangong Lake area, the two sides should now move quickly to resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh,” he said.
He said that the Senior Commanders in their last meeting (held on February 20) had also noted that the disengagement in the Pangong Lake area was a significant step forward and it provided a good basis for the resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. The two sides had a detailed exchange of views at the last meeting of Senior Commanders on the remaining issues.
Pertinent to mention here that on February 20, the 10th round of commander level talks were held on the Chinese side of the Moldo/Chushul border meeting point, within 48 hours of the completion of disengagement process.
“As EAM had pointed out to the Chinese Foreign Minister, both sides have always agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas was an essential basis for the development of bilateral relations. A prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. The two Ministers have agreed to remain in touch. They have also agreed to establish a hotline, details of which will be worked out subsequently through diplomatic channels,” the MEA spokesman added.