India, China foreign ministers agree to resolve border issues at earliest

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India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday in Kazakhstan where the two agreed to step up talks to resolve issues along their border at the earliest, New Delhi said in a statement.

India and China share a long Himalayan border, much of it poorly demarcated, and relations between the two countries have been sour since a military standoff in July 2020 when at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese troops were killed.

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India said Jaishankar met Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana where they agreed that “prolongation of the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.”

The two leaders agreed to enhance meetings between their diplomatic and military officials “to resolve the remaining issues at the earliest,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who began his third straight term at the helm last month, said in April that the two countries should urgently address the
“prolonged situation” on their border.

Both nuclear-armed countries have fortified positions and deployed extra troops and equipment along the border since 2020, having been uneasy neighbors for decades after a bloody border war in 1962.

“He (Jaishankar) reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by relevant bilateral agreements, protocols, and understandings reached between the two governments in the past,” New Delhi’s statement said.

The two countries have previously agreed to maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels.

Jaishankar also stressed on increasing efforts for complete disengagement from the remaining areas in Eastern Ladakh and return a sense of normalcy in their relations, the statement added.

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