The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Brics Summit were “constructive and forward-looking.”

“It is only natural that there would be areas of difference between neighbours,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said in a media briefing. “[However], an important point made during the meeting was that peace and tranquility along the Indo-Chinese border was a prerequisite to further development of relations.”

The foreign secretary said “both countries know what happened” in Doklam.

“Both sides agreed that more efforts need to be made to ensure border disputes are avoided,” he said, adding that Modi and Xi did not discuss counter-terrorism activities as this matter was addressed during the Brics Summit.

The meeting between Modi and Xi was the first bilateral meeting of the two leaders since the standoff in Sikkim. Xi told Modi that China is prepared to work with India to “seek guidance from the five principles of the Panchsheel [Treaty]”. “India and China are neighbours, and are two of the world’s emerging countries. A healthy and stable China-India relationship serves the interests of people in both countries,” Xi said.

India had announced the disengagement of its troops from Doklam on August 29. Troops from both the countries had been stationed at the sector in Sikkim during the standoff, which had begun in June.