In their first comments on the ongoing stand-off between India and China in Ladakh, two of India’s neighbours — Nepal and Afghanistan – on Saturday said they are confident that New Delhi and Beijing will resolve their mutual differences “through peaceful means” and “dialogue” for bilateral, regional and world peace and stability.
They are the first neighbouring countries to comment on the dispute, which is on since early May and has claimed lives of 20 Indian soldiers in a bloody clash in Galwan Valley.
On Saturday, the Nepalese Foreign ministry said, “Nepal maintains that disputes between the countries should be resolved through peaceful means. Nepal has always stood firmly for regional and world peace.”
“In the context of recent developments in Galwan Valley area between our friendly neighbours, India and China, Nepal is confident that both countries will resolve, in the spirit of good neighbourliness, their mutual differences through peaceful means in favour of bilateral, regional and world peace and stability,” Nepal Foreign ministry said in a statement.
India and Nepal have a strained relationship in the wake of a border dispute.
In a statement, Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry said, “As a country that has suffered immense human and financial loss due to conflict, and in light of our friendly relations, historic connections and strategic partnerships with both China and India, Afghanistan is concerned about the recent border incident between the two countries who are Afghanistan’s partners for peace and development.
We believe consequences of the occurrence of such incidents are not in the interest of regional and global peace and stability.”
Afghanistan also stated that it “hopes that the two regional and global powers resolve their differences through dialogue and based on good neighbourly relations”.
Nepal set itself on a collision course with India on Thursday after its Upper House of Parliament unanimously cleared a constitution amendment Bill, endorsing the country’s new map that includes territories that are with India. Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari gave assent to the Bill within hours of its passage in Parliament.
So far, none of India’s neighbours have commented substantively on the clashes along the LAC in Ladakh; only Maldives has expressed condolences. Maldives Foreign minister Abdulla Shahid had tweeted on Friday, “Maldives extends deepest condolences to the people of #India for the lives lost in recent clashes on the border. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones, and communities of the soldiers.”