Speaker of the Indian Parliament’s Lower House, the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan arrived in Ulaanbaatar to attend the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting, and held bilateral talks with her Mongolian counterpart yesterday. Z.Enkhbold, Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia, officially welcomed Speaker Mahajan at Chinggis Square yesterday. Shortly after the welcoming ceremony, the counterparts signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the State Great Khural and the Lok Sabha. Under the inter-parliamentary MoU, the legal grounds for inter-parliamentary cooperation have been strengthened, and the two nations believe that pleasant conditions are being created to expand future collaboration. The signed document is also a step toward Mongolia and India offering each other mutual support in the international and regional arenas. Beginning official talks, Speaker Z.Enkhold underlined that Speaker Mahajan’s visit was the first official visit from a high-level Indian official since the relations of two countries were upgraded to a strategic partnership at the end of 2015. Mahajan noted that relations and collaboration between the two countries have been developed and enriched in recent years with new forms of collaboration. She added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in 2015 was a significant event in the history of bilateral relations between Mongolia and India. “The Mongolia-India relations and cooperation, based on historical and cultural ties, on common values of democracy, on bilateral aspiration to keep regional and international peace and stability, have been intensively developing under the strategic partnership principle,” noted Z.Enkhbold. He noted that that the very first visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Mongolia in 2015, conducted on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, brought bilateral cooperation in information technology, renewable energy, industry, agriculture, culture, and education to a new stage. Speaker Z.Enkhbold pointed out that the Mongolian Foreign Affairs Minister plans to pay a visit to India later this month to sign a general credit agreement for a one billion USD soft loan granted by India, adding that Mongolian Parliament is to discuss authorization of the signing of the government agreement this week. Speaker Mahajan noted that one of the main policy directions of India is to support Mongolia in all spheres, noting that Mongolia is a model democracy in Asia. Mentioning Mongolia’s natural resources and India’s highly developed technology, she underlined that India and Mongolia have great cooperation opportunities if the sides collaborate to combine the countries’ resources. Noting the contribution of bilateral high-level visits in the development of cooperation between legislative bodies and bilateral relations, Speaker Z.Enkhbold stated that India’s policy to support landlocked countries such as Mongolia is significant. He added that Mongolia is working on establishing the International Think-Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in Ulaanbaatar. He expressed Mongolia’s willingness to boost mutually beneficial and sustainable cooperation in economy and trade with India. The Speaker emphasized the importance of the Mongolia-India cooperation committee in terms of designing the framework for trade and economic collaboration, as well as its proper directions and forms, and for supporting ties between the nations' private sectors. Speaker Z.Enkhbold congratulated India on strengthening its reputation and influence in the world and in the region, and said Mongolia wants to maintain a tradition of strengthening cooperation between the two nations within the UN and other international and regional organizations. Speaker Mahajan echoed Z.Enkhbold's hopes for bilateral cooperation in multiple spheres, and said that India has prioritized the development of its remote regions in recent years, and noted that India’s experience might be helpful to Mongolia in developing its vast territory. The Indian Speaker wished Mongolia success in hosting the ASEM Summit this summer and said that an Indian delegation led by the Indian Foreign Minister will participate in the summit. Speaker Mahajan also held meetings with President Ts.Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg. During her visit she took part in a ceremony for the presentation of a Bhabhatron II cancer therapy device given to the National Cancer Center of Mongolia from the Government of India.
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