India on Sunday announced a USD 1 billion credit line to Mongolia for infrastructure development as the two countries 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.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 1 billion to support expansion of Mongolia’s economic capacity and infrastructure,” Modi said at a joint press interaction with Saikhanbileg 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 the 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.
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 on a Sunday 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.