External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of the border standoff with his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, on Thursday. The discussions took place separately on the eve of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers meeting to be held in Benaulim, Goa, on Friday. During the meeting, Jaishankar focused on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas. The two ministers also discussed the upcoming G20 and BRICS meetings.
This comes after Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told Chinese Foreign Minister Li Shangfu that China had violated all border protocols, eroding the entire bilateral relationship. At present, both sides have positioned a massive amount of troops and artillery at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the talks for a process of disengagement and de-escalation have also slowed down in the past year. Both ministers will meet again on Friday for the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting, where a broader consensus will be arrived at by the ministers.
Earlier, Jaishankar met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and both sides agreed to follow a “fair multipolar system of interstate relations,” indirectly hinting at the Western economic sanctions in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. The two ministers reviewed their bilateral, global, and multilateral cooperation and discussed issues about G20 and BRICS. They also appreciated Russia’s support for India’s SCO presidency.
“The ministers praised the dynamics of cooperation in key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries,” said a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. The statement added that the two sides agreed to continue following the course of building a fair multipolar system of interstate relations and confirmed the intention to further strengthen coordination to develop common approaches within the framework of interaction at the most important international platforms, including the SCO, BRICS, the UN, and the G20.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers meeting will be attended by eight countries, including India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The council meeting will focus on security-related issues, including terrorism, regional security, drug trafficking, and economic cooperation.