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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Ladakh cloud over Khurshid's China visit plan

Jayanth Jacob & Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times  Tehran/Beijing, May 03, 2013
First Published: 22:09 IST(3/5/2013) | Last Updated: 12:12 IST(4/5/2013)

The government on Friday hardened its stand on the Chinese incursions in Ladakh and, for the first time, indicated it could review external affairs minister Salman Khurshid’s Beijing visit scheduled for next week, in case no substantial progress was made to break the deadlock.

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The development came on a day intelligence inputs received in Delhi suggested a scaling down of activity at the site of the incursions and the possible

dismantling of some tents. “This input is being ascertained,” said a senior diplomatic source.

But as India took a tough position, China — which till Thursday had not confirmed the date of Khurshid’s visit — announced his two-day visit would begin on May 9. This is being viewed in Indian circles as a clear indication of Beijing softening its stance.

Khurshid, who arrived in Tehran on Friday, said progress in dialogue to end the Ladakh standoff had not been satisfactory and India would have liked a “much better response”.

"I can't say we have reached a level of satisfaction at this stage… We are continuing with efforts to resolve the adverse situation… Hopefully, the efforts will be successful," he said.

"The review of the (China) visit has not been done as of now but what will happen tomorrow, one can't predict today," he added.

Government sources indicated it would not be worthwhile for the minister to take the trip if the standoff with Beijing was not resolved in the "next few days".


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