(This article is originally posted by Nayanima Basu the Print)
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart and State Councilor Wang Yi Thursday and discussed the implementation of the “Moscow Agreement” on easing of tensions in Ladakh.
“Spoke to State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi this afternoon. Discussed the implementation of our Moscow Agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement,” Jaishankar said in a tweet, referring to their discussions in Moscow in September 2020 on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting.
This is the first time that the term ‘Moscow Agreement’ has been used by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), hinting at the role played by Russia in reducing tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.
After the meeting between Jaishankar and Wang in Moscow, India and China had issued their first joint statement since the beginning of the stand off in Ladakh in April-May last year. The statement five-point agenda on easing tensions.
During the meeting, Jaishankar and Wang had also discussed expediting work on a new set of confidence-building measures (CBMs) once the stand off is defused. Their interaction followed another between the Indian and Chinese defence ministers Rajnath Singh and Wei Fenghe, respectively in Russia.
Last week, during his visit to Moscow, Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla also underline the role played by Russia in defusing tensions between India and China. New Delhi and Beijing, he said, feel “comfortable” discussing difficult matters in Russia.
Jaishankar and Wang’s conversation Thursday came days after Indian and Chinese troops successfully disengaged at the Pangong Tso in Ladakh. On 20 February, India and China held their 10th round of corps commanders meeting.
Discussions are currently underway between the Asian giants for resolution of the stand off at other friction points Depsang Plains, Gogra Post, Hot Springs and Demchok.