New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar on Wednesday confirmed that disengagement between Indian and Chinese troops at Gogra-Hot Springs (PP 15) area is complete and termed it “one problem less.”
“I would recognize that we had disengagement at PP 15. The disengagement as I understand was completed and that is one problem less on the border,” he said addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of France Catherine Colonna following their Ministerial Meeting.
The disengagement process between Indian and Chinese troops in the Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) area started on Sept 8 at 0830 hrs and it was completed on Sept 12. The landforms are understood to have been restored to pre-stand-off period by both sides.
The two sides have ceased forward deployments in this area resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas. According to the agreement reached between the two countries, the LAC in this area will now be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there will be no unilateral change in status quo.
Responding to a query on China repeatedly coming in defence of dreaded terrorists and thwarting India’s bid to list them as the UN Security Council designated terrorist, Dr Jaishankar said that the listing of terrorists is done because terrorists are a threat to the entire international community.
“So it is not something which countries necessarily do in pursuit of narrow national agenda. If somebody blocks listing particularly in cases where the merits of going ahead are very apparent, I think they do so frankly at perils of their own interest and to their own reputation,” he said.
The External Affairs Minister also appreciated France for her “clear cut position on the challenge of terrorism.”
On China’s aggressive behaviour and muscle flexing in the Indo Pacific and elsewhere, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said that France and India share the same concerns over the issue.
“We have spoken a lot of general situation in the Indo Pacific and many challenges that have emerged because of China. We have the same analysis. We share the same concerns,” she said.
“We know that the kind of role that the Chinese are playing and we want to make sure that there is no imbalance in the Indo Pacific. We will continue to do our best that we can. We want to make sure that there is balance of powers so that we can continue to support each other. So that each of us can develop strategic autonomy,” she added.
Colonna said that France also wants to ensure stability and peace in the Indo Pacific and elsewhere.
Jaishankar said that India considers France a very much Indo Pacific player and also a country that has a long standing presence in the Indian Ocean.
“It’s important for like-minded countries to contribute to ensuring peace, stability, security, prosperity and progress,” he said in the context of Indo Pacific region.
The External Affairs Minister said that they have discussed Ukraine in some detail during the Ministerial Meeting and he reiterated India’s stand saying, “What is important is that there should be a return to dialogue and diplomacy.”
The end objective which is a return to the negotiating table is something that we share, Jaishankar added.
The world is multipolar and we think it’s a good thing, he further said.
Dr Jaishankar termed his Ministerial Meeting with the French counterpart “exceptionally good and productive.” (UNI)