NEW DELHI – India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by next Monday.  

Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, more than two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties.  

The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting in Uzbekistan next week that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to attend.  

“The eyeball-to-eyeball contact has ended,” an Indian defence source said on Thursday, although both countries still had thousands of soldiers lined up along the de factor border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).  

India and China share an undemarcated 3,800km-long border, where their troops previously adhered to longstanding protocols to avoid the use of any firearms. REUTERS