By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: July 5, 2020 5:08:05 pm

PM Narendra Modi with President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Source: Rashtrapati Bhavan)

Two days after making an unannounced visit to Ladakh, where he addressed the troops at Nimu near Leh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan and briefed him on “issues of national and international importance”.

The development comes after PM Modi, during his trip to Leh, spoke with soldiers injured during the violent face-off with Chinese troops last month as well as the Army leadership, and paid tributes to the slain soldiers at the Hall of Fame Army Museum.

During his visit, the first from the executive leadership since the standoff began in early May, PM Modi, in a strong message to China, said the “era of expansionism is over” and “history is witness that such forces have been wiped out, or have been forced to turn around”.

Underlining that valour and strength are a precondition for peace, Modi reminded troops that “India has emerged stronger after every attack”.

He also said said the “enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces”, and warned that “India’s commitment to peace should not be seen as its weakness”.

The stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies in eastern Ladakh is now in its ninth week. A conversation between the two foreign ministers, three rounds of Corps Commander-level talks and other discussions at the diplomatic and military levels have failed to break the impasse.

The Army is preparing for the long haul with the standoff expected to continue well into the winter. The Army will take a decision within the next six weeks on the number of troops that can be supported logistically in the remote area during the winter months by the military supply chain.

In the last meeting between XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin, which went on for 11 hours, both sides “emphasised the need for an expeditious, phased and step-wise de-escalation as a priority”.

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