New Delhi, April 10

India and China military-level talks have focused on working together to pull back troops, weapons and war-waging equipment from friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

A statement of the Indian Ministry of Defence issued on Saturday evening detailed the outcome of the meeting of military commanders which took place yesterday. It said “was highlighted that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity and enable progress in bilateral relations”.

The MoD statement has emerged after a marathon 13-hour meeting between the Corps Commander level military officers of both sides. The meeting at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on April 9 had ended around 11.30 pm. It was the 11th round of talks since June last year.

Starting February 10, troops of either side started the ‘dis-engagement’ process from along the banks of Pangong Tso, a 135-km glacial lake. Following the disengagement at this spot, the process is stalled for almost two months. The next two steps — de-escalation and de-induction, which means pulling back troops and war equipment to the pre-April 2020 home bases — have not yet begun.

Also, so far, the ‘dis-engagement’ has been done only at Pangong Tso, the situation at other areas is same as before. The present position of troops is not face-to-face, but they are within the striking range from where rapid redeployment is possible

The MoD statement said “the two sides had a detailed exchange of views for the resolution of the remaining issues related to disengagement along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh”.

It was agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols.

The two sides agreed that it was important to take guidance from the consensus of their leaders, continue their communication and dialogue and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.

They also agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid any new incidents and jointly maintain peace in the border areas.

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