INDIA MONGOLIA RELATIONS
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Context: On the first day of engagements of his Mongolia visit, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh held bilateral talks with his Mongolian counterpart Lt Gen Saikhanbayar Gursed in Ulaanbaatar. He also called on the President of Mongolia and Chairman of State Great Khural. The Raksha Mantri also inaugurated a Cyber Security Training Centre, built with assistance from India, and laid the foundation stone of the India-Mongolia Friendship School, to be constructed with Indian assistance.
- He became the first Indian Defence Minister to visit the country
- Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Strategic Partnership based on mutual trust & understanding, common interests and shared values of democracy & rule of law.
- The two Ministers also reiterated their resolve to reinvigorate the India-Mongolia Joint Working Group (JWG), which will meet in India later this year.
- Shri Rajnath Singh called on the President of Mongolia & Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces Mr Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, wherein they recalled their strong bonhomie and previous interaction in 2018 when together they laid the foundation stone for the ongoing Oil Refinery project being undertaken by assistance from India.
- Another highlight of the day was the inauguration of Cyber Security Training Centre, built with assistance from Government of India, at National Defence University in Ulaanbaatar by the Raksha Mantri.
- Shri Rajnath Singh, along with Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia, laid the foundation stone of the India-Mongolia Friendship School, which is being established with the assistance from Government of India.
- It may be recalled that India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955. Mongolia has declared India as a strategic partner and “spiritual neighbour”.
- In 2015, “strategic partnership” between the two Asian democracies was declared during visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- Defence is an important element of bilateral engagements with Mongolia.
- India and Mongolia have interacted through Buddhism throughout history.
- India, the first country outside the former Soviet bloc of nations to open diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955, has upgraded ties with Mongolia to a strategic partnership.
- In 2015, Mongolia witnessed the first ever visit by the Prime Minister of India (a part of India’s Act East policy).
- Mongolia has publicly reiterated its support for India’s membership to the permanent seat of the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- India has played an important role in getting Mongolia membership to key international forums, including the United Nations (UN), despite strong opposition from China and Taiwan. India also championed the inclusion of Mongolia in the Non-Aligned Movement.
- In a reciprocal gesture, Mongolia co-sponsored a 1972 UN resolution with India and Bhutan for the recognition of the newly liberated Bangladesh.
- India is a member whereas Mongolia is an observer state at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
- India - Mongolia bilateral trade was USD 38.3 million in 2019, down from USD 52.6 million in 2018.
- Joint defence exercises code-named Nomadic Elephant.
- India is also an active participant in an annual week-long joint training exercise called the Khaan Quest, hosted by Mongolia.