India’s foreign ministry on Friday said that it expected China to work with it for “complete disengagement” along the Line of Actual Control, ANI reported.
“It is our expectation that the Chinese side will work with us, both through the WMCC [Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination] and the senior [military] commanders’ meetings to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas is completed at the earliest,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during his weekly press briefing.
Srivastava’s comment came days after Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed in a telephone call that the two countries should “quickly resolve the remaining issues” in the eastern Ladakh region, following disengagement of troops from in Pangong Lake area.
The foreign ministry spokesperson referred to the disengagement along the Pangong Lake as a “significant step forward” and said that it provided a “good basis for the resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in the Western sector”, ANI reported. He also made a mention of the dialogue between the two foreign ministers, suggesting that they have “agreed to remain in touch and to establish a hotline”.
“Two sides [India and China] had a detailed exchange of views at senior commanders’ last meeting on remaining issues,” Srivastava added. “Prolongation of existing situation was not in interest of either side.”
Almost nine months after the standoff began, both countries announced an agreement in February for soldiers to disengage on either side of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, where the first clashes occurred in May 2020. Thousands of soldiers from the rivals sides have been deployed on the Himalayan frontier since April on the Line of Actual Control.
The disengagement process along the Pangong Tso began on February 10, as military commanders began pulling out troops, tanks and artillery from the area in the first step towards full withdrawal. On February 20, India and China held commander-level talks to discuss pulling back from other areas.