India-China standoff: Israel assures help; Chinese Withdraw from patrol point 15

Israel, one of India’s top defence suppliers, assured all possible help to the country amid the Ladakh border crisis in a defence minister level conversation on Friday, adding to the list of allies who have pledged support as military tensions continue with China.

People aware of the matter said the border situation with China was discussed during a telephonic exchange between defence minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Lt Gen Benjamin Gantz in which they also discussed “possibilities of further strengthening the defence engagements”.

Besides, the Indonesian defence minister, Prabowo Subianto, is expected to visit New Delhi on Monday for discussions on regional issues and expanding defence ties with new joint naval exercises. India and Indonesia have been working together in the maritime domain, including joint patrolling activities along the Malacca straits under the CORPAT series.

In his conversation, the defence minister invited his Israeli counterpart for a visit while dates for a visit by the French defence minister are also under discussion. Speaking with Lt Gen Gantz, Singh invited greater participation of Israeli companies in defence manufacturing after liberalised foreign direct investment norms. The two leaders also discussed cooperation in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The situation with China remains tense, with the disengagement process stalled at the Pangong Tso lake after differences emerged over the modalities of withdrawal and claims on the border. However, at Patrol Point 15, there has been a complete withdrawal of Chinese troops across the Line of Actual Control, according to those in the know.

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