India on Thursday said that disengagement of troops by China from all areas of friction would pave the way for a reduction in tensions and enable progress in bilateral ties.

When asked about the next rounds of talks at the military and diplomatic levels between India and China to reduce tensions along the border, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said that diplomats had met on 12 March and senior military commanders on 9 April.

“During these meetings, both sides agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols," Bagchi said.

“We have repeatedly stressed that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for the two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity and enable progress in bilateral relation," he added.

Ties between India and China have been strained since May last year when India detected Chinese troops inside areas it considers its territory. A violent clash between soldiers of the two countries left 20 men dead on the Indian side and an unknown number dead on the Chinese side. China has since said that four of its troops were killed at Galwan – one of the many friction points along the border in eastern Ladakh.

In February, the two countries pulled back troops from the banks of the Pangong Tso lake – one of the main areas of tension. But subsequent rounds of talks have not led to any further pull back of troops.

India has said that normalization of ties will not happen until the situation on the border is settled.