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Border row: India, China agree on full disengagement

New Delhi: In an apparent thawing of relations, India and China have agreed to complete the disengagement of their troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India’s external affairs ministry said on Monday.

The two neighbors have also decided to not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo along the disputed border.

The development took place after a phone conversation between the Special Representatives of the two sides on the boundary issue, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, on Sunday.

They agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.

So it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.

In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas.

They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas.

The two Special Representatives agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides should continue their discussions, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), and implement the understandings reached in a timely manner to achieve the above outcomes.

It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.

This was the first diplomatic contact since the border standoff between the two sides which began in May.

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