Unresolved border issues can be resolved bilaterally, says Sushma Swaraj

File photo: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photograph:( PTI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 09, 2019, 01.53 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

In a message that will be noted by both Islamabad and Bejing, India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that "unresolved border issues can be resolved bilaterally" but in "atmosphere free from violence and hostility".

Speaking at the 4th Raisina dialogue, Swaraj said, "our commitment to upholding territorial integrity and sovereignty remains unwavering. Our consistent message is that unresolved border issues can be resolved bilaterally, when approached in the right spirit and, in an atmosphere free from violence and hostility."

The comments come even as India and China have bilaterally engaged with each other last year to improve the relationship that suffered in 2017 due to the Doklam crisis when Chinese forces tried to enter Bhutanese territory. 

The Doklam crisis led to a two-month-long standoff between India and China. But India Pakistan relationship remains without engagement due to Pakistan's continued support to cross border terror. 

On terror, Sushma Swaraj said, "today, no country, big or small, is immune from this existential threat, particularly, terrorism actively supported and sponsored by states. In this digital age, the challenge is even greater, with a greater vulnerability to radicalization."

"Ensuring zero-tolerance towards terrorism, and those who use it as an instrument of convenience is the need of the hour," she said.

India has been vocal about cross bother terror and has been calling for a common definition of terrorism. India in 1996 had proposed a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN but it remains a draft due to lack of consensus. 

She also talked about India building "sustainable development partnerships" stretching from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Islands to the Caribbean, and from the continent of Africa to the Americas.

These initiatives, she explained, are "refer to these as partnerships, and not assistance."

Story highlights

The comments come even as India and China have bilaterally engaged with each other last year to improve the relationship that suffered in 2017 due to the Doklam crisis when Chinese forces tried to enter Bhutanese territory.