New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Top Indian and Chinese military officials will hold talks next week in the second phase of disengagement at Pangong Lake and Depsang areas in eastern Ladakh, the government said on Thursday.
The delegates of both countries will discuss about removing tanks, artillery and additional forces in forward positions.
“The next meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) is expected to take place soon,” the External Affairs Ministry said.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops have pulled back from Galwan Valley, Patrolling Point 15 and Hot Springs.
In the meantime, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Special Representatives of India and China on the boundary talks – National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Wang Yi, Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs – had a phone conversation on July 5.
The two Special Representatives had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.
During the conversation, Doval conveyed categorically India’s position on the recent developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including in the Galwan valley area.
NSA emphasised in this context that the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management and at the same time, our forces were deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security.
During their conversation the two representatives agreed that peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for the overall development of bilateral relations.
“In this regard they also shared the view that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation in the India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols,” the ministry said.
One of the key provisions of these bilateral agreements is the commitment that the two sides shall strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The ministry also said that the representatives have also agreed that the two sides should work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace in border areas.
The diplomatic and military officials of both sides will continue their meetings to take forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation as agreed to by the Special Representatives, the ministry stated.
It also stated that there have been some inaccurate and uninformed comments about the disengagement process and its implications.
“Let me remind you that in the last few weeks, we have made several statements spelling out categorically the position of the government on different aspects of the current situation in the Western Sector of India-China border areas,” the Ministry spokesperson said.
“They included our position that recent Chinese claims to the Galwan Valley area are exaggerated and untenable; that the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as this is the basis for peace and tranquillity in the border areas; and that neither side should take any unilateral action to alter it.”