Bhutan welcomes end of Dokalam standoff

New Delhi, Aug 29: Bhutan today welcomed the end of the 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Dokalam and hoped it would help maintain peace and status quo at the tri-junction.
“Bhutan welcomes the disengagement by the two sides at the face-off site in the Dokalam area,” the Bhutanese foreign ministry said.
In a major diplomatic breakthrough to end the prolonged standoff between their troops, India and China yesterday disengaged their border personnel at Dokalam.
“We hope this contributes to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity and status quo along the borders of Bhutan, China and India in keeping with the existing agreements between the respective countries,” the Bhutanese foreign ministry said.
Troops of the two countries had been locked in a standoff in Dokalam since June 16 after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the strategically key Dokalam region, a disputed area between China and Bhutan.
India had deployed about 350 Army personnel in the area. The Indian Army had blocked the construction of the road as it could give China a major military advantage over India at the Bhutan-China-India tri-junction.
China and Bhutan were engaged in talks to resolve the dispute in the area. India argues that since it is a tri-junction involving the three countries, it also has a say in the issue.
In keeping with their tradition of holding close consultations on matters of mutual interest, Bhutan and India had been in regular contact through the unfolding of the developments in Dokalam.
Following the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops, Bhutan had underlined that construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory was a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affected the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries. (Agencies)