India-China Foreign Ministers likely to meet in Moscow for ‘bilateral talks’: Report

New Delhi: Amid escalating tensions between China and India at the LAC in Ladakh, Foreign Ministers of both the countries are expected to meet on Thursday for “bilateral talks” in Russia’s capital Moscow.

The Foreign Ministers, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India and Wang Yi of China, in Moscow are scheduled to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting.

The two leaders will also meet at a luncheon of the Foreign Ministers of Russia-India-China (RIC), Delhi based news organisation NDTV reported.

“During [the SCO] meeting… Wang Yi will discuss with foreign ministers of other member states of the SCO cooperation amid Covid-19 and exchange views on major international and regional issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson  Zhao Lijian said while attending a news briefing in Beijing.

Pushing for the dialogue between the two countries, Roman Babushkin, the Russian Deputy Chief of mission, said on Tuesday his country wasn’t directly mediating between India and China but was “focusing on the creation of a positive atmosphere through SCO, Brics and RIC for practical cooperation”.

He added: “any kind of dialogue would be better than escalation.”

Earlier on Tuesday, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) claimed that armed forces personnel from India fired warning shots after crossing the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the south bank of Pangong Lake. The incident further increased the tensions in the region as India later refuted the claims.

Experts believe the meeting between Jaishankar and Wang is unlikely to result in an immediate breakthrough, though it could set the stage for further political engagements to end the standoff. Jaishankar is the longest serving Indian envoy to Beijing, where he served for four-and-half years from 2009, and has known Wang for a long time, the Hindustan Times reported.


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