India and China will complete the disengagement process in the Gogra-Hot Springs area in eastern Ladakh by 12 September, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday, 9 September. The two sides have been locked in a standoff in this area for over two years.
"It has been agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides will be dismantled and mutually verified. The landforms in the area will be restored to the pre-standoff period by both sides," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
According to the MEA, the two sides have agreed to take the talks forward and resolve other pending issues to restore peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China border areas.
16 Rounds of Talks
Arindam Bagchi said that the 16th round of talks between the Corps Commanders of India and China was held at the Chushul Moldo meeting point on 17 July 2022.
"Since then, the two sides had maintained regular contact to build on the progress achieved during the talks to resolve the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector of India-China border areas," he said.
As a result, both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra-Hot Springs Patrolling Point 15. The process started on 8 September at 8:30 am and will be completed by 12 September, according to the agreement.
"The two sides have agreed to cease forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated, and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas," he added.
In its own statement, the Chinese defence ministry confirmed that troops from both sides have begun to disengage in Jianan Daban, which is what the Chinese call Patrolling Point-15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area.
The disengagement comes a week ahead of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Uzbekistan, which is set to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
(With inputs from PTI.)