India, China to resolve outstanding LAC issues in ‘expeditious manner’: MEA
India and China have agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an “expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols” during the 11th round of military dialogue in eastern Ladakh to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), according to a statement issued by the Indian government on Saturday. The statement came a day after the corps commander level meeting was held at Chushul-Moldo border on Friday.
“In this context it was highlighted also 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 tranquility and enable progress in bilateral relations,” the ministry of external affairs said in the statement.
“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,” it added.
Both sides have been locked in a standoff for more than 11 months and are currently negotiating a withdrawal of troops and weapons from friction points on the disputed border. The talks--which were led by Lieutenant General PGK Menon, the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps--began at 10:30am on Friday on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo meeting point.
The 11th round of talks between corps commander-ranked officers was expected to focus on outstanding problems with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. A complex disengagement process was completed in Pangong Tso in mid-February with the pull back of front-line troops and weapons, the officials said. The 10th round of talks—which lasted for around 16 hours—between corps commander-ranked officers of the two armies took place on February 20, two days after the completion of disengagement on strategic heights on the North and South banks of the Pangong Lake.