India-Bhutan bilateral meet on Doklam, restates peaceful solution

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 10 August 2017) – Indian Foreign Minister Shushma Swaraj on Friday held bilateral talks with Bhutanese counterpart Damcho Dorji on the Doklam stand off on the sidelines of BIMSTEC ministerial meetings.

This was the  first meeting between Swaraj and Dorji, since tensions broke out at the Chinese territory of Bhutan-China border. Sources have said both the ministers discussed about the Doklam tension and agreed to resolve the tension peacefully through the diplomatic channel.

After the meeting Bhatanese Foreign Minister Dorji believed that the tension would be resolved peacefully on the mutual trust. Nepal government has made this arrangement following the request made by the Indian government.

Indian troops entered in to Doklam crossing the border after the Bhutan government formally sought the help of Indian government on the disputed territory.

China has been constantly saying that the Doklam is Chinese territory bordered with Bhutan defined by the 1890 convention on Tibet-Sikkim part of India held between British India and China. Though India has not claimed that disputed land being the Indian territory but has been the tri-junction among India, China and Bhutan.

Both China and India have been responding each other with relentless threats and both the armies have been put in the alert position to face whatever challenges may have to face.

According to India Today, Bhutan will reiterate her position on the ensuing border tensions as also the discussions between the two foreign ministers will revolve around how to de-escalate the tension. Bhutan on 29 June, in a press release had invoked the 1988, 1998 bilateral agreements between China and Bhutan saying status quo should remain unchanged until the border question is resolved.

“Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries. Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June, 2017”, the press release read.

China on multiple occasions, has questioned Indian troops’ presence in the area, which India has justified with the security pact it has with Bhutan. The agreement with Bhutan that says neither country will allow any activity on its soil which is detrimental to the security of either. Bhutan is an independent country with a 2007 Treaty of Cooperation signed with India.

 

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