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Ajit Doval to visit China for BRICS

13 July, 2017 10:56 PM
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Ajit Doval to visit China for BRICS

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be in Beijing to attend a BRICS meet later this month, a crucial visit during which India's ongoing border standoff with China could be discussed.

The meeting of the NSAs from BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will be held in Beijing on July 27-28.

Doval, who is the special representative for the India-China border talks, is expected to visit Beijing on July 26. Sources said the NSA could take up the matter with his counterpart.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay, however, did not confirm the visit, but said: "We have diplomatic channels available. We have embassies in both countries. Those channels will continue to be used," he said.

China has, however, rejected Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's view that the two countries can resolve the current faceoff like they have done it in the past. China has said the situation is different this time.

The month-long military standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops continues after Indian Army objected to road construction by China in Dokalm, a disputed area between China and Bhutan. The area is of great strategic importance to India as it could bring the Chinese closer to the Silguri corridor that connects to the northeast.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's recent meeting with Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui created a political furore as the party first denied and then confirmed the interaction.

The standoff has also triggered a war of words between the two countries.

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Meanwhile, India on Thursday rejected Beijing's offer to mediate and resolve the Kashmir problem, making it clear it was a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had earlier said China was willing to play a "constructive role" in improving Indo-Pakistan ties, especially after the increased hostility along the Line of Control (LoC).

"At the heart of the matter is really the issue of cross- border terrorism perpetrated on India including on the people of the state of J&K. So, the matter is that cross-border terrorism in our region emanating from a particular source is threatening peace and stability in not only India but other neighbours," Baglay said.

He said India's stand on Kashmir has been very consistent and clear. "We have been ready to have dialogue with Pakistan among other issues (including) J&K in a bilateral framework. That position of addressing all issues with Pakistan including the Kashmir issue in a bilateral framework has not changed," he said.

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