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Indian External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj held her first high-level meeting after the Doklam standoff, with Bhutanese counterpart Damcho Dorji in BIMSTEC sideline in Kathmandu, and expressing hope that the situation is resolved peacefully.
The two ministers met on sidelines of the BIMSTEC foreign ministers’ meeting. The meeting was focused mainly on the standoff between the armies of India and China in Doklam in the Sikkim sector.
The two ministers put their respective positions as well as reiterated the stances on the face off, according to the diplomatic sources.
“We hope the current standoff in Doklam will be sorted out peacefully,” said Dorji after the meeting, and added that “both sides should be satisfied with the outcome”.
The meeting comes as the Government of Bhutan refuted Chinese foreign ministry claims that Thimpu had told Beijing that the trilateral junction in Doklam is not Bhutanese territory.
During her meeting with Bhutanese counterpart Damcho Dorji, Indian External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj discussed bilateral issues, amidst the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector.
Government of Bhutan refuted Chinese foreign ministry claims that Thimpu had told Beijing that the trilateral junction in Doklam is not Bhutanese territory
Both the leaders in the Himalayan capital city to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from the countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC, a grouping of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal are members of the BIMSTEC.
“Time with a close friend and neighbour. The external affairs minister meets with foreign minister of Bhutan Damcho Dorji on sidelines of BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ meet,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted and also posted a picture of the meeting.
Though there was no official word on as to what was discussed between the two leaders, the meeting comes in the backdrop of the current standoff in Doklam — a tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan.
India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector since June 16 after Indian troops stopped the Chinese People’s Liberation Army from building a road in the area.