Noting that disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Tso area was a significant step forward for resolution of other areas in the Western Sector, India and China at the 10th Corps Commander talks agreed to push for a mutually acceptable solution of remaining issues.
“The two sides agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, continue their communication and dialogue, stabilise and control the situation on the ground, push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues in a steady and orderly manner, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” a joint statement on the talks held on Saturday said.
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The Corps Commanders had candid and in-depth exchange of views on other issues along the LAC in the Western Sector, the statement said. The two sides positively appraised the “smooth completion” of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area and said that it provided a “good basis” for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in Western Sector.
The talks began at 10 a.m. and went on till 2 a.m., a government source said.
With disengagement now complete on the north and south bank of Pangong Tso, the focus of the talks was to work out a phased disengagement plan for the other friction areas in Eastern Ladakh. These include Gogra, Hot Springs, Depsang and Demchok.
At the first Corps Commander talks last June, both sides had mutually agreed and identified five friction areas Patrolling Points (PP) 14 at Galwan, PP15 and 17 at Gogra and Hotsprings, North bank of Pangong Tso and Chushul. Despite the violent clash at Galwan on June 15, the disengagement there has been completed while partial disengagement was done at PP15 and PP17A.
However, in end August tensions flared up on the South bank of Pangong Tso, with the Indian Army occupying several dominating peaks on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) lying vacant since 1962 giving India leverage during negotiations. The first phase of disengagement, centred around the two banks of the Pangong lake, was agreed during the 9th round of talks on January 24.
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The talks are guided by the five-point plan for disengagement and de-escalation agreed between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year. After the sixth round of talks on September 21, 2020 both sides for the first time issued a joint statement in which they agreed to “stop sending more troops to the frontline” and “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground.”