Distinguished members of Mongolian delegation,
Members of the media,
I am delighted to visit Mongolia. It is a great honour to be the first Prime Minister of India to do so.
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 countries.
I am deeply grateful for your welcome and hospitality that have touched our hearts. You have embraced us with unlimited generosity and warmth of a true friend.
Your Parliament's decision to host me on a Sunday is a remarkable gesture of honour for India.
I could not have started my visit in a better way. It began with a visit to the historic Gandan Monastery, where I handed over a sapling of the Mahabodhi Tree. This is a token of friendship from the people of India.
I am here in respect and appreciation for our timeless kinship. You have called us your spiritual neighbour and third neighbour. We will always fulfil the responsibility that comes with this honour.
Today, Mongolia is also an integral part of India's Act East Policy. 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. So, I am also here in commitment to our shared responsibility to our region.
Prime Minister has spoken eloquently about the relationship and our meeting today. I will have the honour to speak about our vision in the Parliament a little later.
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.
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.
We will take our economic partnership to a new level. Today, I am pleased to announce that India will provide a Line of Credit of One Billion U.S. dollars to support expansion of Mongolia's economic capacity and infrastructure.
Supporting development of human resources is the best way to secure a nation's development. We reiterated our commitment to continue our efforts in Mongolia. India will increase the ITEC training slots for Mongolia from 150 to 200. We will also establish an India-Mongolia Joint School.
Later today I will have the pleasure to lay the foundation stone for the expansion and upgrading of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Center of Excellence for Information and Communication Technology. I will also visit the National Cancer Centre to gift Bhabhatron II. It is state of art nuclear medicine cancer therapy machine, developed and manufactured in India.
We attach high importance to our security cooperation. We will continue to participate in each other's defence exercises. The agreements today will deepen our cooperation in border security and cyber security. Cooperation between National Security Councils will provide a strategic framework for cooperation. We have also agreed that India will help establish a cyber security centre in Mongolia’s defence and security establishment.
Our trade and investment relations are modest. We recognise that there are physical limitations. But, we agreed that economic growth in our two countries is opening up new opportunities. There is huge potential in civil nuclear sector, mining, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and dairy. We should also explore the possibilities of using digital technology to expand our economic relations.
I conveyed to Prime Minister that we greatly value our international partnership, which is based on our friendship, shared spiritual heritage and democratic values. These also provide solid foundation for our cooperation in our region.
I conveyed India's sincere appreciation for Mongolia's strong support for India's permanent membership of United Nations Security Council.
In a reflection of our commitment to further deepen our relationship, we have decided to upgrade our Comprehensive Partnership to ‘Strategic Partnership’. We also agreed to renew our Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation.
So, at a significant milestone in our relationship, we are starting a new era in our partnership.
I keenly look forward to the rest of my stay in Mongolia. Thank you.