New Delhi: After a year's break, India and China are all set to resume defence dialogue, which had suffered a setback after Beijing had denied a visa to an Army Commander based in Jammu and Kashmir.

The two sides will soon resume the fourth round of Defence Secretary level talks, Defence Minister AK Antony said here on Wednesday.

"We (India and China) will have a structured dialogue very soon. The fourth round of defence dialogue at Secretary-level will take place very soon," he told reporters after addressing naval commanders here.

On resumption of defence dialogue between India and China, he said, "There were some delays but now all the issues have been sorted out (to resume the defence dialogue) between both the governments."

He also informed that Chinese Defence Secretary was willing to visit New Delhi and hold the defence dialogue in the first week of June. Chinese Defence Secretary Ma Xiaotian would be visiting Sri Lanka in June and has expressed his desire to visit India thereafter.

"But we said our hands are already full. On May 30-31 there will be Indo-Pakistan Defence Secretary level talks. On May 31, German Defence Minister is coming along with the German Chancellor. On June 1, Afghan Defence Minister is coming," Antony said.

"So, we said if he is coming he is welcome and our Defence Secretary would be glad to meet him. We then suggested that we will have structured dialogue very soon," he said. India had called off defence exchanges in July last year after China refused visa to Lt Gen B S Jaswal, who was Northern Army Commander, on the ground he came from "sensitive" Jammu and Kashmir.

Antony also said that an eight member defence delegation from the Indian Army led by an officer of the rank of Major General would visit China in the second half of June.

"In the second half of June, an eight member delegation led by a Major General of Northern Command will visit China. The delegation would consist of members from Eastern and Central Command also," he said.

Indo-Pak defence talks after 4 years

India and Pakistan will next week resume their Defence Secretary-level talks after four years with the demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier - the world's highest and coldest battlefield - and the Sir Creek maritime boundary dispute topping the agenda.

Defence Minister AK Antony told reporters here on Wednesday that India would hold its defence Secretary-level talks with Pakistan May 30-31.

Antony did not specify the agenda of the talks between Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and his Pakistani counterpart Lt. Gen (retd) Syed Athar Ali.

But sources told that Siachen, Sir Creek and the ceasefire on the Line of Control - the de facto border in Jammu and Kashmir - are likely to figure in the talks.

The dialogue - part of the of bilateral peace process that was revived after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks - on these issues between the two neighbours would be held after four years.

The last time such talks were conducted was in 2007 when the two countries had made significant progress in resolving the Sir Creek dispute over the 96-km estuary in the Rann of Kutch separating India's Gujarat state from Pakistan's Sindh province.

The two sides have also maintained a ceasefire since November 2003 on Siachen and throughout the LoC, though there have been allegation by India that Pakistan has violated the Kashmir truce agreement.

The bone of contention in negotiations between India and Pakistan has been delineation of 110-km Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) along the LoC.


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