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India-China remaining engaged diplomatically underlined: MEA on opposition meet

Reported by: PTI New Delhi 14 Jul 2017, 23:27:45 IST

The importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy was underlined at a briefing by senior Union ministers to political parties on the situation in Dokalam, the External Affairs Ministry said today. There is a stand-off between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector after Indian troops stopped a road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16.

The briefing was jointly held by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and was attended by leaders of various political parties. "All participants expressed strong support for India's approach and also for the need for national unity. Importance of India and China to remain engaged through diplomacy was underlined," MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

The briefing was also attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. Baglay said, "There was widespread appreciation of the Astana understanding between India and China that differences between them should not become disputes."

He said the unique nature of the very close and longstanding India–Bhutan relationship was also recognised. Among others who attended the meeting, considered an effort to build a consensus on dealings with India's biggest neighbour (China) and the Kashmir issue, were Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Mallikarjun Kharge, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Tariq Anwar (NCP) and Sharad Yadav and K C Tyagi (both JD-U).

The briefing comes ahead of the Parliament session beginning Monday. The opposition parties had earlier said the government had not kept them informed over the developments in Dokalam.