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‘No scope for China, India, Pak affairs’: Govt rejects trilateral meet proposal

By Deepika

The government has rejected Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui's proposal of a trilateral engagement between India, Pakistan and China, saying it as his personal opinion.

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping

"We have seen reports on comments made by the Chinese Ambassador in this matter. We have not received any such suggestion from the Chinese government. We consider the statement as the personal opinion of the Ambassador," the ministry of external affairs said.

Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui suggested on Monday that China, India and Pakistan have a trilateral meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meetings.

Zhaohui, while addressing the India-China Relations Seminar in Delhi on Monday, had said that "some Indian friends" had suggested to him that China, India and Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral cooperation under the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation).

He added that if Russia, China and Mongolia could have a trilateral meeting at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), "why can't India, Pakistan and China do the same?"

The envoy's remarks come after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain exchanged pleasantries following a press conference by the leaders of the SCO in Qingdao last week.

He also said India and China cannot afford another Doklam, referring to the standoff last year between troops of the two countries at the trijunction with Bhutan.

Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a 73-day stand-off at the Doklam tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China between June to August last year.

Luo also suggested that India and China should think about signing a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. He said a draft on this was provided to the Indian side about 10 years ago.

The Congress too has condemned Zhaohui for his remark. "We strongly condemn the statement of the Chinese ambassador. Our stand has been that the issues between India and Pakistan should be solved bilaterally," said Congress leader Manish Tewari.

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