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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Union Defence Minister on Wednesday said that no “meaningful solution” has come out of diplomatic and military level talks with China to resolve the standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and there is “status quo”.

In an exclusive interview with ANI Editor Smita Prakash, the Defence Minister said that if status quo continues, there cannot be a reduction in the deployment of troops. Rajnath Singh referred to the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) meeting on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held virtually earlier this month and said the next round of military talks can take place anytime.

“It is true that in order to reduce the standoff between India and China, talks were taking place on a military and diplomatic level. But no success has been achieved so far. There will be a next round of talks on a military level which can take place anytime. But no meaningful outcome has come and there is status quo,” he said.

“If there is status quo, it is natural how deployment can be reduced. There will be no reduction in our deployment and I fell their deployment will also not come down. I don’t think that status-quo is a positive development at all. Talks are on and they result in a positive outcome, that is our expectation,” he added.

He said hotline messages have been exchanged.

“On what issues talks will be held, an exchange of messages is taking place between the two countries,” he said.

“If there is status quo, it is natural how deployment can be reduced. There will be no reduction in our deployment and I fell their deployment will also not come down. I don’t think that status-quo is a positive development at all. Talks are on and they result in a positive outcome, that is our expectation,” he added.

He said hotline messages have been exchanged.

“On what issues talks will be held, an exchange of messages is taking place between the two countries,” he said.