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‘Singh, Wen discussed difficult bilateral issues’

Last Updated: Monday, November 21, 2011 - 08:56

New Delhi: All difficult issues, including
boundary question, came up during the meeting between Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Wen Jiabao in Bali
and they said these would be worked out.

Official sources said the meeting was held in a good
atmosphere on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Bali,
Indonesia on Friday.

All the "difficult issues" were "mentioned", whether it
be the boundary question or river water disputes, the sources
said. The leaders said "we will work them out" and ask
officials to work on them.

With regard to the stapled visa issue, the sources said
it cannot be claimed that it has been sorted out or otherwise
as "some bureaucrat can staple a visa tomorrow".

The two countries saw a strain in their relations in 2009
after China started issuing visas on loose sheets of paper to
residents of Jammu and Kashmir, implying that it did not
consider the state a part of India.

The matter came to light when Indian Army`s Northern
Commander B S Jaswal was issued such a visa. India reacted
strongly and swiftly by suspending defence dialogue, only to
resume this year.

"These are kinds of issues on which relations can go up
and down. These issues come and go," they said, adding the
important part is what position China adopts on Jammu and
Kashmir and whether it continues to hold that it is something
to be sorted out between India and Pakistan.

That position has been held by China since the then
Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited India and Pakistan when
he articulated that at both places.

"If it was worse than that, then I draw conclusions," the
sources said, pointing out that this was the reason why India
reacted immediately when the stapled visa issue came to light.

The Prime Minister held talks with Wen against the
backdrop of the South China Sea issue row and told him that
India`s oil exploration in the disputed maritime area is
"purely commercial activity".

The sources said Singh and Wen also discussed the
Eurozone issue and the uncertainty it has created in the
international system, which requires both India and China to
work together. They also discussed the coordination between
the two countries witnessed at G-20.

PTI

First Published: Monday, November 21, 2011 - 08:56
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