The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday said peace and tranquillity prevailed along the edLine of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.

“Absolute peace and tranquillity prevails along the LAC between India and China,” said MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash during a media briefing on the eve of the ninth meeting among the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China [RIC] here, on Tuesday.

However, he added Indian and Chinese patrols were presumably foraying into each other’s territory as the LAC had not been clearly demarcated.

He sought to dismiss the tensions that had recently developed between the two countries by claiming that “no relationship in the world is free from differences. But, both sides [India and China] are mature and have a framework in place to narrow down the differences.”

Reacting to a query on China’s objection to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Prakash quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that the Dalai Lama was a spiritual leader who was free to travel anywhere in India.

However, the “Tibetan community residing in India would not be allowed to hold any anti-China political activities on Indian soil.”

Though the trilateral meeting is expected to discuss regional and international issues to take the process of cooperation among RIC forward, the bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jeichi has assumed significance in the wake of the strident assertions between the two countries over Arunachal Pradesh. Russia will be represented by its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Mr. Prakash said RIC accounted for 20 per cent of the earth’s land mass and represented 39 per cent of the global population.

The RIC process began when the first such meeting was held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in 2002. “Since then it has become an annual feature. Though this is the ninth such meeting, it is the fifth stand-alone meeting,” he said.

Mr. Prakash said the RIC meetings turned out to be a useful forum to discuss political, regional and international issues. The RIC forum had decided to hold its trilateral meetings outside the national capitals. “Earlier, the meetings in China and Russia were held away from Beijing and Moscow,” he said.

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