EAM Jaishankar emphasized that dealing with COVID-19 pandemic required serious international cooperation

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation on Friday evening with State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi. The call was arranged at the request of the Chinese side to convey their sympathy and solidarity with India at this juncture.

The External Affairs Minister thanked Foreign Minister Wang Yi for his sentiments and apprised him of the ongoing efforts to meet the challenge posed by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India.

EAM Jaishankar, as per a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, maintained that the Indian government was fully determined to do whatever was necessary to overcome this challenge.

External Affairs Minister highlighted in this regard that Indian entities were already in the process of commercially procuring required products and raw materials from suppliers in China.

The Minister said that this process would be facilitated if various transport corridors and cargo flights remained open and the necessary logistics support ensured expeditiously.

The Minister emphasized that serious challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which had affected all countries, required serious international cooperation.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the COVID-19 as a common enemy of mankind and agreed that there was a need for coordination on a concerted response.

He said that China supported the efforts of the Government of India and would ensure that all the required materials flow to Indian entities without any delay. Chinese companies would be encouraged and supported to deliver requisite materials. Airports, customs and airlines would also be instructed to smoothly facilitate movement of goods. Chartered flights from India would be welcome and specific problems raised by the Indian side sorted out quickly.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered any other appropriate assistance required from the Chinese Government.

The two Ministers also discussed the outstanding issues related to disengagement from all friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. External Affairs Minister conveyed that while the process of disengagement had commenced earlier this year, it remained unfinished.

He emphasized that it was necessary that this process be completed at the earliest. Full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas would enable progress in the bilateral relationship. The two Ministers agreed to continue further dialogue at the official level on this matter.

The telephone call concluded with a brief discussion on the BRICS and RIC Meetings of Foreign Ministers which are scheduled to take place in the near future under the Indian Chair. Foreign Minister Wang Yi confirmed his participation at these events.