Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop Tuesday called for a peaceful resolution of the standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at Dokalam in Sikkim sector, an issue which she discussed during her meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers.
“My understanding is this it is long-standing dispute ...It was a subject of discussion today. Australia’s position is that border disputes, territorial disputes should be resolved peacefully between the claimant countries...We don’t want to see any escalation of tensions which could lead to a miscalculation or misjudgement,” Bishop told a group of reporters.
The visiting minister also said, “In the case of maritime disputes we said it should be subjected to arbitration under the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), if necessary. Land disputes should be resolved peacefully between the competing claimants and urge the countries to do that.”
Earlier, during a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Bishop had condemned the Amarnath terror attack and conveyed her country’s resolve to fight all terrorism.
The Australian minister also held talks with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.
Bishop talked about cooperation between India and Australia in key areas of trade, energy and defence during the media interaction.
“First shipment is on its way,” she said when asked about the status of supply of uranium to India.
She also noted that all the necessary parliamentary clearances to activate the bilateral civil nuclear supply agreement had been accomplished.
On India not allowing Australia to join the Malabar naval exercises, Bishop said she had not asked for an explanation from the Indian leadership.
“It’s not upsetting, it is a question of priorities for each country...Australia conducts many exercises that India is not a part of. We said Australia would like to be part of Malabar exercises in the future. We are all working together to maintain relative peace and security and stability in our region,” she said.
India recently completed the Malabar exercises with the US and Japan.