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India, China stress on expeditious & phased de-escalation as priority; more talks likely: Sources

New Delhi: Indian and Chinese armies have emphasised the need for an "expeditious, phased and step wise" de-escalation as a "priority" to end the seven-week bitter standoff in eastern Ladakh, during a nearly 12-hour corps commander-level meeting on Tuesday, government sources said.

This, the sources said, is in sync with the agreement between External Affairs Ministers S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in their telephonic talks on June 17 that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner.

They said the process of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is "complex", and in such a context, speculative and unsubstantiated reports need to be avoided.

Meanwhile, sources also said that both the countries have agreed on more talks at the military and diplomatic levels.

The sources said the discussions reflected the commitment of the two sides to reduce tensions along the LAC and more meetings are expected, both at military and diplomatic levels, to arrive at a "mutually agreeable solution".

At Tuesday's dialogue, the two sides also resolved to sincerely implement the disengagement understanding reached in the first corps commander-level talks on June 6, they said.

The talks took place on the Indian side of the LAC in Chushul sector in eastern Ladakh. The meeting began at 11 am and continued for nearly 12 hours, the sources said.

The Indian delegation at the meeting was headed by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh while the Chinese side was led by the Commander of the Tibet Military District Major General Liu Lin. "Both sides have emphasised the need for an expeditious, phased and stepwise de-escalation as a priority," said a source.

It was the third senior military commander level engagement to discuss issues related to disengagement at the faceoff sites along the LAC and de-escalation from the border areas.

"The meeting on Tuesday was long and held in a businesslike manner keeping in view the COVID-19 protocols. The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the LAC," the source said.

It further added: "More meetings are expected both at the military and at the diplomatic level, in future, to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquility along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols."

In the previous two rounds of talks, the Indian side demanded immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from various areas in the region.With agency inputs

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