China and India agree to withdraw troops along the Himalayan border


China and India on Friday said they agreed to ease tensions on their contested Himalayan border and take steps to restore “peace and tranquility” after a high-level diplomatic meeting in Moscow.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister S.W. Jaishankar met in Moscow on Thursday and reached a five-point consensus, including agreements that troops from both sides should quickly reduce and reduce tensions, the two countries said in a joint statement.

The consensus reached during a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization came after a confrontation in the border region in the Western Himalayas earlier this week.

“The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either party,” the statement said.

“They agreed that border troops on both sides should continue their dialogue, disband quickly, maintain proper distance and reduce tension.”

An Indian source told Reuters that Jaishankar told Wang that the army’s job would be to step back from “areas of friction” so that things would not go bad. The soldiers are barely a few hundred meters apart from some points.

China and India have accused each other of firing in the air during the confrontation, a violation of long-held protocols for not using firearms at sensitive borders.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday, “Wang told Jaishankar that” it is necessary to immediately stop the firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by both sides. “

Wang told Jaishankar that all personnel and equipment causing havoc on the border should be taken to escalate the situation.

In June, tensions rose in a border conflict in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and China suffered an unspecified number of casualties.

The meeting of the ministers lasted for two hours and was the latest diplomatic effort to prevent widespread conflict between the world’s two most populous countries, which went to war in 1962.

An influential tabloid published by the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, China’s Global Times, said in an editorial published late on Thursday that any dialogue with India should be combined with “war preparedness”.

The newspaper said, “The Chinese side must be fully prepared to take military action if diplomatic engagement fails, and its border troops must be able to react to emergencies, and be ready to fight at any time , “The newspaper said.