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In a meeting in the Russian capital Thursday, the foreign ministers of India and China have agreed their troops should disengage from the precarious standoff at their shared border and retreat to a proper distance. Tensions had been mounting since May in the Ladakh area, where the two foes in June experienced their deadliest clash in decades.
The two top diplomats, S. Jaishankar of India, and Wang Yi of China, released a joint statement from the sidelines of a gathering of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Friday, saying, “the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.” The countries share a 2,175-mile border, and the latest dispute centers on a high-altitude stretch of land with a pristine, natural landscape.
Full-scale military conflict had been feared, with the regional superpowers accusing each other of firing warning shots and sending soldiers into each other’s territory.
While no disengagement timeline was specified and their conflict resolution is far from over, the two sides “shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters,” per their statement.
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Long-awaited negotiations between opposing parties from the war in Afghanistan will undoubtedly be “contentious,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday, en route to Doha, Qatar, where intra-Afghan talks begin Saturday. The roadmap for peace was established in a deal that Washington brokered with the Taliban in February with the goal of ending the conflict and bringing American troops home.
Germany’s Justice Ministry has approved Russia’s request for German state prosecutors to assist in Russia’s own investigation into the poisoning of Moscow-based opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is recovering in Berlin from an attack with the Novichok nerve agent. The Russian interior ministry also hopes to send investigators to Germany to work on the case but Germany appears unlikely to grant the additional request.
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