Published On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

India, China begin to pull troops out from Dokolam, says MEA

New Delhi: It seems there could soon be an end in sight to the Doklam standoff as indications to this effect was given by the external affairs ministry (MEA) on Monday.

The move comes ahead of the Brics summit, which will be attended by leaders from five countries

The MEA announced that both Indian and Chinese troops are slowly being pulled out from the face-off site.

“In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests. On the basis of expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going,” said a statement from the ministry.

The MEA is calling this process the ‘Doklam Disengagement Understanding’ and it comes after weeks of sustained diplomacy.

The move comes ahead of the Brics summit, which will be attended by leaders from five countries, including Prime minister Narendra Modi, in the Chinese city of Xiamen in early September.

India and China have been keeping diplomatic channels open ever since the border incursion by China on June 16, in what’s called the tri-junction area at Doklam, which is in Bhutan. This, despite strident rhetoric, especially from China, and especially from its state-backed media.

On the other hand, China on Monday said India has withdrawn troops from Doklam but Chinese troops will “remain in the region” and exercise their “sovereignty over the region”.

Beijing said Chinese border troops will continue to patrol in Doklam, in the Sikkim sector.

The Chinese Foreign Office statement is in contrast to India stating on Monday that both countries have agreed to “disengage” in Doklam where their armies have been on a standoff since the middle of June, sharply escalating tensions.

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