MODI GOVT HAS GIVEN FIRST PRIORITY TO SECURITY IN FOREIGN POLICY: JAISHANKAR

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that PM Narendra Modi’s government has given first priority to security in foreign policy.

“I want to put this in the context of a larger approach of the Modi government, we have always given security a very very high priority, in fact, number one priority in our foreign policy,” Jaishankar said.

Speaking on the India-China boundary, Jaishankar took a firm position saying, “In the last two years, we have been very clear and very effective in ensuring that no attempt to change the status quo unilaterally on the line of actual control will be done by us.”

He reiterated that “Chinese occupied several areas in 1962 that are strategic including Ladakh creating challenges for boundary forces.”

He also stressed that talks are on to resolve the boundary issues between the two countries through discussions involving their military commanders and diplomats.

“There are discussions going on between our side and the Chinese side. These relate to friction points where we’re closely deployed vis-à-vis each other. The focus is to see whether disengagement on those fiction points is possible,” he said during the press conference in Trivandrum.

“In last year, there were substantial disengagement & there’re still some issues where both sides are closely deployed,” EAM further said.

Jaishankar recently met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations in Bali.

Both sides agreed to look forward to the next round of military talks between the two sides at an early date to resolve the border issue.

After the Galwan clash in 2020, several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have taken place to resolve the standoff. Disengagement at some border points did take place but by and large, there is an impasse on complete disengagement.

Twenty Indian soldiers had died in the Galwan Valley clash which was fought in hand-to-hand combat in sub-zero temperatures on the near pitch-black night of June 15 and June 16, 2020.

The clash took place along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh following a standoff over the actions of the Chinese Army.

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