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No border settlement with China unless people accept: Bhutan PM

IANS 07 Nov 2014, 23:49:17 PM IST

Thimphu: Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay Friday acknowledged that its border dispute with China has remained unresolved despite 22 rounds of negotiations but maintained it will only be resolved in a manner "acceptable to the people of Bhutan".

Taking a resolute stand against its large northern neighbour that has been reportedly trying to browbeat it into resolving the outstanding border dispute, Tobgay gave the impression to Indian journalists, who have come here with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, that Thimphu was not going to be bullied into agreeing to terms that were to its geographical or strategic disadvantage.

"For a small country like Bhutan, it is even more important to look at every issue (regarding land) very carefully," Tobgay said without elaboration.

He laughed away suggestions that China could be the elephant in the room between India and Bhutan, saying China was its neighbour and "we have good relations with China".

Earlier, Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh refused to be drawn into any discussion on China, saying Bhutan was a sovereign country and its ties with India had nothing to do with its ties with China. She declined to go into any detailed discussions on the border dispute between Bhutan and China that is of direct interest to India because of its strategic implications.