NSA Ajit Doval to meet Chinese counterpart for border talks

India`s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be holding talks with China`s State Councillor Yang Jiechi on the festering India-China boundary issue in a month`s time, the government announced Thursday.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 05, 2015, 22:21 PM IST

New Delhi: India`s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be holding talks with China`s State Councillor Yang Jiechi on the festering India-China boundary issue in a month`s time, the government announced Thursday.

Doval, who was in November named the government`s Special Representative on the border talks, will be leading his first talks for settlement of the dispute over the around 4,000-km boundary that has seen several incidents of face-offs between the troops of both countries.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, addressing a briefing, said that the Special Representatives will "meet in a month`s time".

The talks, the first under the Narendra Modi government, come as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that India is committed to finding an "early settlement" to the vexed boundary issue.

Speaking in Beijing last week, during her maiden visit as external affairs minister, she said: "On the boundary question, my government is committed to exploring early settlement."

India and China have held 17 rounds of Special Representative talks on the boundary issue so far. The 17th round was held between Shivshankar Menon, who was the NSA under the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, and Yang in February 2014.

India and China established the mechanism of Special Representatives in 2003 to find a resolution to the boundary question.

Akbaruddin also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi intends to embark on his maiden visit Beijing before he completes the first year in office.He said both India and China were working on "mutually convenient dates" for the prime minister`s visit, on the invite of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The spokesperson said that Sushma Swaraj`s visit to Beijing from Jan 31-Feb 3, set a "positive agenda" for the bilateral engagement and that both sides had agreed to a "series of steps that both will take to take the relations forward" in the field of trade, economy, tourism and other issues.

Sushma Swaraj`s visit was also to lay the ground work for Modi`s visit to China.