Doklam stand-off: U.S. 'encouraging' India, China to resolve issue through 'direct dialogue'
Updated: Aug 16, 2017 13:46 IST
New Delhi [India], August 16 (ANI): The United States has called on India and China to sit down and have a direct dialogue to resolve their issues. U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert further said, "Just that we are encouraging both parties to sit down and have direct dialogue," when asked about the United States' stand on 'another round of skirmish and tension from India and China,' referring to the two-month long Doklam stand-off. Earlier on August 11 too, the U.S. had pressed for diplomatic talks between the two nations, adding that the stand-off is a situation that it has certainly followed closely. "As you know, we have relationships with both governments. We continue to encourage both parties to have conversations," it added. Meanwhile, China has vehemently rejected all reports of it ever offering a compromise to India by relocating its troops in the disputed Doklam border area. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted to a report where China had allegedly offered to move its troops back 100 meters, after India sought the pullback of Chinese troops by 250 metres. The Spokesperson's Office told China Daily that the report is not true, adding that "China will not trade its territorial sovereignty under any circumstances." "China's position on solving this incident is clear and firm. India must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its trespassing troops and equipment back to the Indian side of the border," the office said in a statement. Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that India's 'intrusion' had not only violated China's territorial sovereignty, but also challenged Bhutan's sovereignty and independence. However, the Government of Bhutan on Thursday pointedly refuted a Chinese Foreign Ministry claim that Bhutan had conveyed through diplomatic channels to China that the trilateral border stand-off area in Doklam in the Sikkim sector is not its territory. Official sources in the Bhutanese Government told ANI over phone, "Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's foreign ministry on June 29, 2017." The stand-off began in June when Chinese soldiers tried to unilaterally change the status quo in the strategically important Doklam region of Bhutan by building a road in the area. India has made its stance clear that that it stands for peace the border question can be solved diplomatically, not by war. (ANI)