Indian and Chinese troops stationed at the southern and northern banks of Pangong Lake in Ladakh have begun simultaneous disengagement, indicating a breakthrough in the ongoing military standoff between the two countries.

Troops began disengagement in accordance with the consensus reached during the ninth round of commander-level meeting, Global Times reported citing China’s Ministry of National Defense.

The disengagement is expected to lead to the marginal thinning of troops from the forward deployments, as well as the removal of tanks, weapons and artillery.

Separately, Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh confirmed in parliament that the two sides have reached a consensus regarding the disengagement of troops around Pangong lake.

Singh was quoted by PTI as saying: “I am happy to inform the house today that as a result of our well thought out approach and sustained talks with the Chinese side, we have now been able to reach an agreement on disengagement in the North and South Bank of the Pangong Lake.

“It has also been agreed to convene the next meeting of the senior commanders within 48 hours after the complete disengagement in the Pangong Lake area so as to address and resolve all other remaining issues.”

Indian and Chinese forces have been engaged in a military standoff in the Ladakh region since May. The Line of Actual Control, which serves as the de facto border between the two countries, passes through the Pangong Lake.