India and China will hold another round of talks between military commanders “as soon as possible” to continue the disengagement process in friction areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), The Hindu reported.
This was agreed to on Friday as officials from both sides virtually held the 21st meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC).
The talks led by senior Foreign Ministry officials, along with the parallel military-level talks between Corps Commanders, have been the two key channels for both sides to take forward disengagement, with Friday’s meeting of a mechanism that has in the past convened only twice a year, the seventh held since the June 15 clash in the Galwan Valley last year.
The two sides reviewed the situation along the LAC and “had in-depth discussions on the remaining issues”, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, adding that both “agreed that the completion of the disengagement in North and South Bank of the Pangong lake provided a good basis for the two sides to work towards early resolution of these remaining issues.”
A 11th round of talks between Corps Commanders would be held “as soon as possible to further ease the situation on the ground and jointly safeguard the hard-won peace and stability in the border areas”, the statement said.
At the 10th round on February 20, both commanders noted “the disengagement in the Pangong lake area was a significant step forward and it provided a good basis for the resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC”.
Since the meeting, there has been no official word so far on the progress of disengagement in the Gogra-Hot Springs area and in Demchok.
There are also long-running tensions involving the blocking of patrols in the Depsang plains, which Indian officials have said pre-dated the current crisis.
The MEA said both sides agreed to “continue their dialogue to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points at the earliest”, which “would enable two sides to look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”