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‘Bilateral Ties Impacted Severely Over Last Year’: Jaishankar Tells Chinese Foreign Min During 75-minute Phone Call

S Jaishankar with this Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. (PTI File)

S Jaishankar with this Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. (PTI File)

The two foreign ministers discussed the implementation of their Moscow Agreement on the border standoff in eastern Ladakh and reviewed the status of disengagement.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday and discussed the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and also issues related to overall relations between India and China. In the phone call that lasted 75 minutes, The two foreign ministers also discussed the implementation of their Moscow Agreement on the border standoff in eastern Ladakh and reviewed the status of disengagement.

Jaishankar referred to the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister in September 2020 in Moscow where Indian side had expressed its concern on provocative behaviour and unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter status quo.

Noting that “the bilateral relations have been impacted severely over last year”, Jaishankar said that Boundary Question may take time to resolve but “disturbance of peace and tranquility, including by violence, will inevitably have a damaging impact on the relationship.”

“Jaishankar said that during their meeting in Moscow last year, both ministers had agreed that the situation in the border areas was not in the interest of either side and decided that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage and ease tensions. He noted that the two sides had maintained continuous communication since then through both the diplomatic and military channels. This had led to progress as both sides had successfully disengaged in the Pangong Tso Lake area earlier this month,” The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

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The external affairs minister agreed that the disengagement in Pangong Lake area is now complete and emphasised that “both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.”

“Jaishankar said that once disengagement is completed at all friction points, then the two sides could also look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards restoration of peace and tranquility,” the statement reads.

first published:February 26, 2021, 10:21 IST