The disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area in Ladakh is “one problem less on the border”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.

The Indian minister made the statement in response to a question at a press conference that he addressed along with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

“...You’ve heard me speak many times about the border,” Jaishankar said. “I don’t think I would say anything new there today, except I would recognise that we’ve had disengagement at PP15, the disengagement, as I understand was completed and that is one problem less on the border.”

The Patrolling Point 15 at Gogra-Hot Springs was a key standoff area between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.

“Both sides have completed disengagement at PP15 in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas,” an unidentified defence official said on Tuesday.

The announcement about the disengagement of troops at Gogra-Hot Springs came ahead of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to attend on September 15 and 16.

India and China have been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.

France to back India for permanent seat at UNSC

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said at the press conference on Wednesday that the country will “mobilise itself” to secure permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for India.

“The France would be taking over the chairmanship of the UN Security Council,” she said. “And I’d like to remind you that France has mobilised itself and will continue to mobilise itself so that India can get a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.”

France is among the five permanent members of the security council – the others being China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The security council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. Its permanent members have the power to veto any substantive resolution.

India has repeatedly pushed for permanent membership of the council.