Sushma meets Bhutanese FM amid Doklam stand off

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Sushma meets Bhutanese FM amid Doklam stand off

"The comments by Mr Dorji came after his meeting with Ms Swaraj on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC foreign ministers' meeting in Kathmandu".

"We hope the situation in Doklam will be resolved peacefully and amicably", Bhutan Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji told news agency ANI. However, China had not offered any evidence to support its claim.

This was the first high-level meeting between the two close neighbours since the Doklam incident came into surface in late July. "EAM meets with FM of Bhutan Damcho Dorji on sidelines of BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers' meet", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Bhutan also accused China of violating the boundary agreements and asked it to refrain from taking unilateral action or use of force to change the status quo of the Bhutan- China boundary between the two countries, saying that on June 16, 2017, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) started constructing a motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri.

India is now increasingly investing its hopes for regional cooperation in Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) - which does not have Pakistan as a member - instead of Saarc, which has become dysfunctional due to Pakistan's stonewalling tactics.

India and Sri Lanka are also diplomatically engaged over the issue of Tamil fishermen in Sri Lankan waters and Sushma Swaraj had taken this up with then Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake during his visit to New Delhi in June.

The meeting between the two leaders comes against the backdrop of the current standoff in Dokalam - a trijunction between India, China and Bhutan.

Though there was no further official information on the meeting, it is understood that they discussed matters affecting both.

Sri Lanka is one of the major recipients of development credit given by India with a total commitment of $2.6 billion, including $436 million as grants.

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