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Doklam standoff ends: MEA says troops begin 'disengaging'

A press statement by the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday announced the development

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Doklam crisis begins winding down
An Indian soldier stands beside his Chinese counterpart at the Line of Actual Control. File Photo: PTI

Troops involved in the border standoff between India and China at Doklam have begun disengaging, a press statement by the (MEA) said on Monday. 

Shortly after the MEA statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Indian troops had withdrawn to the Indian side of the disputed border at Doklam, where the two countries’ soldiers had been locked in a standoff for more than two months, news agency Reuters reported. 

Speaking at a daily news briefing, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Chinese troops would continue to patrol the disputed Doklam region, the report added.

New Delhi and Beijing have reached an understanding for disengaging troops involved in the Doklam standoff, the MEA press statement said.  

According to the statement, "expeditious disengagement" of border personnel at the face-off site has been agreed to and "is ongoing".

The MEA statement said that during bilateral communications, "we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests". It was on the basis of these communications, according to the statement, that the agreement to disengage was reached. 

The People's Daily has also tweeted that India has withdrawn its troops.

The decision to disengage troops comes ahead of a crucial BRICS summit being hosted by China in September, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff since June at Doklam, located at the Sikkim section of the Bhutan-China border.

This is the longest standoff between the two armies since 1987 when they faced a similar situation at Somordong Chu Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.

It began when Indian troops stopped Chinese troops from building a road in Doklam, citing the disputed status of the territory.

Doklam is claimed by Bhutan, which has protested against Chinese road building.

China says the construction of the road is just since Doklam has been Chinese territory since ancient times.

New Delhi backs Bhutan's claims and sees a Chinese road in Doklam as a threat because the region is very close to the Siliguri Corridor, which connects India's northeast with the rest of the country. 

First Published: Mon, August 28 2017. 12:24 IST