ULAN BATOR, May 17:
India today announced a USD one billion credit line to Mongolia for infrastructure development as they upgraded their ties to “Strategic Partnership” and agreed to deepen defence cooperation besides exploring potential for tie ups in areas like the civil nuclear sector.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Mongolia, the first ever by an Indian Premier, held wide- ranging discussions with his Mongolian counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg and the two leaders pledged to take bilateral economic partnership to a new level.
“I am pleased to announce that India will provide a Line of Credit of USD one billion to support expansion of Mongolia’s economic capacity and infrastructure,” Modi said at a joint press interaction with Saikhanbileg at the State Palace here.
“Today, Mongolia is also an integral part of India’s Act East Policy,” he said. “The destinies of India and Mongolia are closely linked with the future of Asia Pacific region. We can work together to help advance peace, stability and prosperity in this region.”
After their talks, the two Prime Ministers signed a joint statement committing to further consolidate bilateral ties and upgrade the comprehensive partnership to “strategic partnership” and agreed to renew their Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation.
The two sides inked 13 other pacts that includes one on enhancing cooperation in border guarding, policing and surveillance, air services, cyber security and new and renewable energy.
Stating that it was a great honour to be the first Prime Minister of India to visit Mangolia, Modi said, “It is a special privilege to come on the occasion of two important milestones that unite us – 25 years of democracy in Mongolia and 60 years of diplomatic relations between our two nations.”
“I was very pleased with my discussions with Prime Minister today. We have strong convergence of views on bilateral relations and our regional and international partnership,” he said.
“The agreements that we have just signed speak to the depth of the relationship. These cover economic relations, development partnership, defence and security, and people-to-people contacts,” the Prime Minister added.
Modi also called on President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and discussed bilateral ties and issues of mutual interests.
India and Mongolia support the evolution of open, balanced and inclusive security architecture in the Asia Pacific region based on collected efforts, considering legitimate interests of all states of the region guided by respect for norms and principles of international law, the joint statement said.
Prime Minister Modi later addressed the State Great Hural, the Mongolian Parliament, which was specially convened today on a holiday for the first time for a foreign leader.
“Our security cooperation is growing. We can learn a great deal from each other. No one can doubt the well-known skills of Mongols! We are proud to conduct defence exercises together. And, I am pleased that we have signed agreements today to cooperate more closely on border security and cyber security,” he told the lawmakers.
He said India will also help establish a cyber security centre in Mongolia’s defence and security establishment.
Asia “is a continent that is expected to lead the world in the 21st century… Yet, this is also a region that lives on the uneasy edge of uncertainty, of unsettled questions, of unresolved disputes and of unforgotten memories,” he said.
In the joint statement, Modi and Saikhanbileg said the nature and spread of terrorism posed a threat to all humanity and required global resolve and cooperative measures of the world community without double standards or selectivity.
They agreed to direct concerned officials to work together for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. They hoped that all safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorists will be wiped out without delay.
A treaty was inked by the two sides on the transfer of sentenced persons.
On economic cooperation, Modi and Saikhanbileg agreed to encourage development of equal and mutually beneficial trade, investment and economic cooperation, which is balanced, sustainable and leads to prosperity in both countries.
The two leaders agreed to encourage Indian companies to further explore cooperation opportunities in Mongolia’s mining sector through joint ventures and investment.
The Prime Minister said the convergence of Buddhism and democracy provided the two countries a path to build an Asia of peace and cooperation, harmony and equality. “This is a region that has woken up to its reality,” he said. (PTI)
ULAN BATOR, May 17: