Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation on Thursday reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India in all spheres.
Prime Minister Modi on Thursday called President Putin to congratulate him on the success of the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, and also for the successful completion of the vote on constitutional amendments in Russia.
An Indian armed forces contingent participated in the Victory Parade held in Moscow on June 24, as a symbol of abiding friendship between the people of India and Russia.
Modi and Putin talked about the effective measures undertaken by the two countries to address the negative consequences of the global Covid-19 pandemic and agreed on the importance of closer India-Russia ties for jointly addressing the challenges of the post-Covid world.
The two leaders agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral summit to be held in India later this year. Modi also conveyed his keenness to welcome Putin in India for the bilateral summit.
The Russian President also thanked Modi for the phone call.
India, China to hold 9th round of talks to resolve border dispute
India and China Flags.
Indian and Chinese militaries will hold a ninth round of talks aimed at resolving the border disputes in Eastern Ladakh after a deadlock prevailed since the last negotiations in November 2020, sources said.
The latest “Corps Commander level meet is likely to take place in the next few days, probably in a day or two”, the sources, adding contours of the dialogue were being worked out and some changes are expected.
A Ministry of External Affairs representative is likely to be part of the dialogue.
The eight round had taken place on November 6, 2020.
Though the talks ended in a deadlock, both countries agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and also to take forward the discussions, push for the settlement of other outstanding issues, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
Earlier this month, Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had said that the force is ready for a long haul along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), while hoping for an amicable solution in its nine-month-long conflict with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
“We are prepared to hold our ground where we are for as long as it takes to achieve our national goals and interest,” he had said.
On August 30, 2020, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now.
India has also made some deployments near Blacktop also after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.
Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allow India to dominate Spangur Gap under the Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
India releases Chinese soldier apprehended for crossing disputed border
Indian authorities on Monday released a soldier of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who was apprehended for crossing the disputed border in Eastern Ladakh.
“The PLA soldier who had been apprehended on January 8, was handed back to China at Chushul – Moldo at 10.10 a.m. today,” said a senior Indian Army officer.
The solider was interrogated for spying on deployment of Indian forces at the disputed border region in Ladakh.
He had crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at friction point between both the countries at South of Pangong Lake.
The Indian Army had stated that the PLA soldier had transgressed across the LAC and was taken into custody by Indian troops deployed in the area.
Troops from either side are deployed along the LAC since friction erupted last year due to unprecedented mobilisation and forward concentration by Chinese troops.
It was on August 28, 2020 and August 29, 2020, Indian troops in a precautionary deployment, pre-empted Chinese expansionist designs and occupied heights along the southern bank of Pangong Tso.
Two weeks ago, the Defence Ministry in its year end review had stated that PLA escalated the situation at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh by the utilisation of “unorthodox weapons and amassing large number of troops”.
The Ministry that Chinese made unilateral and provocative actions to change the status quo by force, in more than one area on the LAC.
Thereafter India responded to in a firm and non-escalatory way, ensuring the sanctity of claims in Eastern Ladakh.
India has categorically conveyed China that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo at the border is unacceptable and that India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
India and China are engaged in a nine-month-long standoff at the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.
Pakistani Foreign Minister embarks on 2-day visit to UAE
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday embarked on a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for talks on bilateral matters, according to an official statement issued here.
The Foreign Ministry statement said Qureshi will hold discussions with the UAE leadership on all areas of mutual interest including regional and global issues, reports Xinhua news agency.
“The Foreign Minister will exchange views on bilateral cooperation, in particular, trade, investment and the welfare of Pakistani diaspora,” it said.
The UAE is home to the second-largest Pakistani community abroad.
The visit is part of the high-level exchanges between Pakistan and UAE, according to the statement.
“High-level visits are an important feature, which not only exhibit cordial ties between the two countries but also accord the leadership an opportunity to give further impetus to strengthening bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues,” it added.
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