Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has mentioned she will hold a bilateral talks with Bhutanese counterpart on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC foreign ministers’ meeting in Kathmandu.
The foreign ministers of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation started arriving Kathmandu Thursday for the meeting.
The sideline talk between Swaraj and Bhutanese foreign minister Damcho Dorji will primarily focus on the much debated issue at the Doklam where India-China stand-off is going on for almost two months now. This would be the first meeting between Swaraj and Dorji, since tensions broke out at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction.
Except for a statement asking China to stop all development activities in the disputed land, Bhutan has not spoken anything about the stand-off while Indian media cover the issue with priority. “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 Bhutanese press release read.
The disputed area lies within Bhutan where Indian army made attempts to stop Chinese soldiers from building roads. Since then India and China continued flexing their muscles instead of seeking peaceful diplomatic solutions.