India and its neighbouring country China have agreed to disengage a prolonged standoff at the Sikkim border that began earlier in June 2017, said the government on Monday. The two countries arrived at a breakthrough middle ground after diplomatic talks, said the Centre.
“On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going, ” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
Almost after three months lengthy border dispute, India and China have agreed to end the military standoff at Doklam near Sikkim, an External Affairs Ministry press statement said on Monday.
“In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During these communications, we are able to express our views and convey our concern and interest,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The move of resolving the standoff comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Beijing for the 9th annual BRICS summit.
Meanwhile, Reuters quoting Chinese foreign ministry said, the Indian troops at Doklam have been withdrawn from the area as both India and China have agreed to resolve the border dispute through diplomatic channels.
The military standoff which began in mid June with India’s opposition to China’s road construction in Doklam, a disputed tri-junction point between India-Bhutan-China basically belongs to Bhutan but was allegedly claimed by China as its territory.
Doklam is a few kilometres away from India’s strategically important Chicken neck passage, which connects mainland India with its northeastern part.
Small incursions and troop standoffs are common along other parts of the contested 3,500-km (2,175-mile) frontier, but the recent impasse was marked by its length and the failure of talks to resolve the dispute, raising fears of a wider escalation as both neighbouring countries compete for influence.
The Nathu La Pass on the frontier between the Indian state of Sikkim and Chinese-controlled Tibet, was the site of a fierce border clash between Chinese and Indian troops in 1967.