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Ready for talks to reopen Nathu La pass, says China

IANS  |  Beijing 

on Tuesday said it is ready for talks to reopen the Nath La pass for Indian pilgrims to Mansarovar, which it had closed in mid-June over the military standoff at Doklam.

"is ready to keep communication with the Indian side in regard to opening of the pass and other issues concerning the pilgrimage by Indians," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said here.

While the over two-month standoff at Doklam was resolved last month, the pass through which many Indian pilgrims go to Mansarovar in China's Tibet remained shut.

The Nathu La pass, the second route for Indian pilgrims was opened in 2015 by The new route is shorter than the one through Lipulekh pass.

"For a long time, has made great efforts against all odds to provide necessary convenience to Indian pilgrims," Geng said.

"And according to the agreement reached between two state leaders (Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and the fact that the western sector of the India-boundary has been recognised by the two sides, used to open the pass to the Indian pilgrims and this operation has gone very well," Geng said.

"However in this June, Indian troops illegally crossed the border, which led to tensions in the border areas of the two sides," he added.

"So the pass was suspended due to this consideration."

The military of both sides were locked in an over two-month stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of the India-boundary, at the tri-junction of India-China-Bhutan.

It began when the on June 16 halted a road construction by China's People's Liberation Army at Doka La in the area. in retaliation stopped the entry of Indian pilgrims via the Nathu La pass.

The Doklam region is also very close to India's arterial corridor which connects its northeast with the rest of the country.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 12 2017. 15:12 IST