India and China 'pull back troops' in disputed border area

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In this 22 July 2011 file photo, children play cricket near Pangong Lake, near the India-China border in Ladakh, IndiaImage source, AP
Image caption,
Ladakh is high in the Himalayas in eastern Kashmir

India and China have started pulling back troops from disputed territory near the two countries' de facto border, India's foreign ministry says.

Soldiers were said to have set up camps facing each other on the ill-defined frontier in Ladakh region last month.

The two sides held a series of talks to resolve the row and on Sunday, agreed to withdraw the troops.

The two countries dispute several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Tensions flare up from time to time. They have held numerous rounds of border talks, but all have been unsuccessful so far.

A spokesperson for India's foreign ministry, Syed Akbaruddin, told the BBC that India and China had agreed to pull their troops back to positions they held prior to the current stand-off, which began last month.

Meetings between border commanders were being held to confirm the arrangement, he added.

Indian officials had accused Chinese troops of straying 10km (six miles) into Indian territory on 15 April and putting up tents in the Depsang valley in Ladakh, in eastern Kashmir.

China had denied reports of an incursion.

The pull-out comes days ahead of Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid's visit to China, ahead of a scheduled visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India.

Mr Khurshid is visiting China on 9 May, ahead of Mr Li's visit on 20 May for his first overseas trip.

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