External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met in Moscow on Thursday amid hopes of a possible breakthrough in reducing tensions along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The talks between the two foreign ministers took place in the backdrop of a massive spike in border tensions in eastern Ladakh triggered by fresh face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting. In a press conference earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs said India is committed to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions and said both sides are in regular touch.
In meeting lasted more than two hours. Jaishankar, reportedly stressed on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region, and reiterated that Indian forces never tried to change the status quo ante along the Line of Actual Control.
The focus of the bilateral talks between the two leaders are expected to be on finding a breakthrough to cool down tensions in eastern Ladakh. A meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen.Wei Fenghe on the margins of another SCO meet in Moscow last Friday apparently did not yield any any tangible outcome.
Earlier in the day, the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) held trilateral talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
“Attended the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by FM (Sergey) Lavrov in Moscow. Thank him for his warm hospitality. India takes on the Chair of the RIC process,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted along with a photograph of his counterparts from Russia and China.
Under the RIC framework, the foreign ministers of the three countries meet periodically to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of their interest.
Jaishankar is in Moscow on a four-day visit to attend the meeting of foreign ministers of the SCO of which both India and China are members.
Lavrov is the host of the meeting of SCO foreign ministers being held in the Russian capital from Wednesday to Thursday.