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India lauds Mongolia's '3rd neighbour' policy; committed to strengthen cultural bond: Rajnath

Ulaanbaatar, Jun 24 (PTI) India appreciates the 'Third Neighbour' policy of land-locked Mongolia, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said here, asserting New Delhi's commitment to further strengthen its cultural bond with Ulaanbaatar.

He was here on a three-day official visit to further strengthen bilateral relations and security cooperation as part of sustained high-level exchanges between Mongolia and India.

The 'Third Neighbour' policy of Mongolia, a land-locked nation between Russia and China, refers to its building ties with countries other than these two.

The minister said that India appreciates Mongolia's 'Third Neighbour' policy.

"We hope this will be crucial in further strengthening bilateral cooperation in strategic areas as well as trade and commerce," Singh said in a tweet.

Singh visited the Gandantsegchinlen Monastery here and met with the Supreme Leader of the Centre of All Mongolian Buddhists and Abbot of the Monastery, Lama Gabju Choijamts Demberel.

"India is committed to further strengthen its cultural bond with Mongolia," Singh said in another tweet.

India and Mongolia, joined by the common thread of Buddhism, are spiritual neighbours, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement in New Delhi.

Singh said that he had a fruitful meeting with President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa at the State Palace in Ulaanbaatar.

Yesterday, the minister called on Prime Minister of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh and discussed with him a wide range of bilateral issues including border management, disaster management and cyber security.

On Friday, Mongolia broke ground for the construction of the landlocked country's first oil refinery with the help of a USD 1 billion loan from India which Singh described as an important milestone in the bilateral ties.

Mongolia is seen as an important strategic partner of India and New Delhi wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Ulaanbaatar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2015 visited Mongolia, the first-ever visit by an Indian prime minister.

The relationship between India and Mongolia was upgraded to a 'Strategic Partnership' in 2015 during Modi's visit, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also in Mongolia in April this year where she discussed economic cooperation in infrastructure development, energy, services and information technology with her Mongolian counterpart. PTI CPS


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