JOINT STATEMENT ON STRENGTHENING THE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN INDIA AND MONGOLIA
At the invitation of Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, H.E. Mr. Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia, paid a State Visit to India from 19 to 23 September, 2019.
- During his visit, President of Mongolia H.E. Mr.Khaltmaagiin Battulga met with President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind and held discussions with Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. Bilateral talks between the two sides were held in a frank, warm and friendly atmosphere. The discussions covered bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
- The two sides recalled the historic State Visit of Prime Minister Modi to Mongolia in May 2015, which had led to the upgradation of bilateral ties to the level of Strategic Partnership which is based on universally recognized principles of independence, sovereignty and equality of states, the fundamental ideals of the Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation between Republic of India and Mongolia, signed on February 22, 1994, and other bilateral documents.
- Both sides reaffirmed that as countries sharing civilisational, historical, spiritual and cultural linkages as well as their shared values and ideals of democracy and freedom, they will continue to deepen and broaden their Strategic Partnership. The Mongolian side reaffirmed the importance it attached to strengthening relations with India – an important third neighbour of Mongolia.
- The two sides appreciated the sustained exchange of bilateral visits at political leadership as well as official levels, since 2015, and agreed to keep this momentum of reciprocal high level visits, as also visits of parliamentarians, and senior officials in realising the full potential of the Strategic Partnership.
- The two sides recognised the role played by regular meetings of the institutional mechanisms in furthering bilateral relations. It was agreed that such dialogues needed to be held regularly to ensure periodic review of progress on various issues of mutual interest as well as to expand cooperation to cover newer areas. In this context, both sides decided to hold the next meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation in New Delhi at a mutually convenient time.
- Both sides noted the convergence of views between the two countries on important global and regional security issues and reaffirmed that they will continue the tradition of coordination and support for each other in regional and multilateral forums and intensify the cooperation between the security institutions to effectively address emerging issues and challenges.
- The two sides reiterated support for the ongoing reforms of the United Nations and its principal organs with a view to making the institution more democratic, representative, transparent and efficient. They emphasized the importance of an early reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in permanent and non-permanent membership categories, so that it reflects the current realities and functions in an accountable, representative and effective manner. The Mongolian side reiterated its support to India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UNSC. Both sides also reaffirmed their reciprocal support for their respective bids for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC for the terms 2021-2022 and 2023-2024 respectively.
- Recognising that extremism and terrorism posed a grave threat to entire humanity, both sides reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. The two sides reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity. The two sides also reiterated their strong determination to eliminate terrorism wherever it is to be found and urged the international community to strengthen the efforts to counter and prevent terrorist financing and agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens for terrorists and their activities. India and Mongolia also reiterated their commitment to working together in this regard, including the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
- Both sides stressed the critical need for enhancing the anti-terrorism and anti-organized crime capacity of developing countries in collaboration with the international community with a view to effectively addressing terrorism and violent extremism challenges.
- Realising the danger of organized crime, money laundering and financing of terrorism and related crimes to the integrity and stability of financial sector, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintain economic security in the region and to protect their national financial systems from abuse by criminals. Acknowledging the importance of broad international cooperation in the area of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism, the two sides expressed their commitment in combating organized crime, money laundering and financing of terrorism on the basis of the Financial Action Task Force recommendations.
- The Indian side explained its “Indo-Pacific Vision”, and underlined that it was an endeavour to create an open, free and inclusive architecture in the Indo-Pacific region through inclusive and collective efforts, considering the legitimate interests of all States in the region and guided by respect for a rules-based system and international law. Mongolian side expressed its support to the “Indo-Pacific Vision” with a view that it aimed at bringing stability and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific region through inclusive and collective efforts so that all nations are able to pursue economic growth. With this in view, Mongolia expressed interest in actively participating in the evolving regional integration in the Indo-Pacific region, including the East Asia Summit. Both sides agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.
- Both sides noted with satisfaction the progress of cooperation in areas of national security, defence and border protection, especially since the upgradation of the relations to the level of a Strategic Partnership. They specifically noted the high-level exchanges in this field especially the visit of Defence Minister of Mongolia to India, visit of Home Minister of India to Mongolia, highlighted the importance of regular interactions and engagement between the National Security Councils of the two countries and agreed to expand cooperation in the sphere of national security to the next level.
- They appreciated the regular participation of their armed forces in exercises “Nomadic Elephant” in India and “Khaan Quest” in Mongolia. The two sides agreed to continue and expand the cooperation in the field of defence exchanges and training. The Mongolian side appreciated the friendly gesture from Indian side for supporting Mongolian Armed Forces capacity building through military grant assistance and its support in training of Mongolian defence personnel. Mongolian side expressed its interest in deepening the defence cooperation in the field of peacekeeping operation.
- Both sides noted the ongoing cooperation in the field of border protection and management, especially between the Border Security Force (BSF) of India and General Authority of Border Protection (GABP) of Mongolia, and agreed to strengthen it further.
- The two sides noted that the project related to Cyber Security Training Centre to be established in Mongolia with Indian assistance is in advanced stage of implementation. The Indian side reaffirmed to the Mongolian side its support for capacity building and infrastructure development in the field of cyber security.
- The two sides acknowledged that there was considerable untapped potential for further development of bilateral trade and investment, especially in the field of agricultural commodities, dairy products and animal husbandry, mining, information technology, pharmaceuticals and tourism etc. In this context, both sides welcomed the signing of a comprehensive work plan for cooperation in animal husbandry, production of dairy products, sharing of expertise and know-how, technology transfer and other forms of cooperation.
- Underlining the importance of creating conducive and favourable investment climate to promote bilateral investment, both sides agreed to continue the negotiations and work towards early conclusion of the Bilateral Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment Agreement and the Protocol amending the Agreement between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of the Republic of India for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital on Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement at the earliest possible time.
- The Mongolian side appreciated significant progress made in the implementation of the ‘Mongol Refinery Project’ under a Government of India Line of Credit (LoC) of US$ 1 billion. Both sides recognised the need to finalise the transportation means of the crude oil before completion of the Oil Refinery. The Mongolian side agreed with the critical importance of finalising the transportation means and its timely completion for the success and viability of this project as stipulated in the Detailed Feasibility Study (DFS) of the Oil Refinery Project. Both sides also agreed that the project would contribute immensely towards the energy security and economic development of Mongolia.
- The Indian side has also approved a request from the Government of Mongolia to extend an additional LOC of US $236 million for the project, taking the Government of India’s total commitment for the project to US$ 1.236 billion.
- Both sides agreed to train much needed engineers and technicians to be employed at the “Mongol Refinery Project” in India through Scholarship from the Indian Government under the existing Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
- Noting the challenge posed by Climate Change, the two sides agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the area of renewable energy. Mongolia also welcomed the opening of the membership of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to UN member countries lying beyond the tropics and conveyed its interest to join the ISA. The Indian side invited the Mongolian side to consider signing the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance as soon as the amendments to the Framework Agreement are ratified by the member countries of the ISA.
- Mongolian side expressed its interest in sharing knowledge and experience of India’s solar rooftop project implementation and training Mongolian renewable energy specialists in India.
- The Government of India also announced its decision to extend assistance for upgrading the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia into a green and energy efficient solar building.
- The two sides reviewed the progress on setting up of the ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information & Communication Technology’ being developed in Mongolia with Indian assistance. The two sides agreed to take expeditious steps to complete this project particularly keeping in view the significant role it can play in capacity building and human resource development in Mongolia.
- Both sides identified disaster management as an important area for cooperation and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of Mongolia and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India for disaster risk reduction. The Mongolian side also appreciated the humanitarian assistance extended by India in 2018 during natural calamities in Mongolia.
- Both sides welcomed the signing of an Agreement between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of India on Cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes noting that it would provide a framework for expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation particularly in the fields of remote sensing, satellite communication, and applications of space technology in areas including resource management, weather forecasting and disaster management and etc.
- President Battulga and Prime Minister Modi also jointly unveiled the statue of Lord Buddha and his disciples at the venerated Gandan Tegchenling Monastery in Ulaanbaatar noting that it would be an expression of the shared Buddhist heritage between the two countries and everlasting symbol of the spiritual union of the two peoples.
- Both sides appreciated the successful organisation of the birth centenary of Venerable Kushok Bakula Rimpoche who played a crucial role in reviving the Buddhist linkages between the two countries. The Indian side congratulated the Mongolian side on successful organisation of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace and the Third Samvad Dialogue in Ulaanbaatar, underlining its role in spreading the message of peace and brotherhood.
- Both sides noted the valuable role of Buddhism in traditional, historical relations and cooperation between the two countries and agreed to continue its further strengthening and development. Both sides also decided to commission a study tracing the civilisational connection between the two countries and to promote it worldwide.
- The Indian side renewed its offer to the Mongolian side to provide assistance in digitisation of Buddhist manuscripts at various Mongolian institutions such as the National Mongolian Library, as part of the commitment to preserve and promote the common Buddhist heritage. The Mongolian side welcomed this offer.
- Both sides appreciated the mutual steps taken to further promote people-to-people exchanges and simplify the Visa regime for broad-basing the bilateral Strategic Partnership. The Mongolian side appreciated the Indian side’s decision to introduce e-Visa facility for Mongolian short-term visitors. The Mongolian side announced a “visa on arrival” scheme arrangement for Indian short-term visitors to encourage mutual tourism.
- To encourage student exchanges and promote interaction among youth, the Indian side announced 10 ICCR scholarships to Mongolian students wishing to undertake Buddhist monastic studies in India, while the Mongolian side announced two scholarships for Indian students interested in pursuing Mongolian studies.
- Both sides noted the progress made on implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy signed during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Mongolia in 2015 and agreed to further intesify the cooperation in this area.
- Both sides appreciated with satisfaction the journey over the last sixty-four years, since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. In recognition of this spirit of friendship and brotherhood, both sides agreed to celebrate the 65th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2020 through a series of activities highlighting the shared cultural and historical heritage of the two countries. Government of India also conveyed that it would organise a “Festival of India” in Mongolia in 2020 to celebrate this historic occasion.
- The State Visit of the President of Mongolia is yet another milestone in furthering the Strategic Partnership and the longstanding, cordial and cooperative ties between Mongolia and India.
2019, September 20