India, Mongolia review developmental projects, discuss cooperation in combating COVID-19

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) India and Mongolia on Thursday reviewed the progress of developmental projects being undertaken in the Central Asian country with New Delhi's assistance, and also exchanged views on possible cooperation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 7th meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation was held virtually and was chaired jointly by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Mongolian Minister and Chief Cabinet Secretary L Oyun-Erdene, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The two ministers had comprehensive discussions on the entire range of issues covering bilateral cooperation, the MEA said.

They recalled the historic state visit to Mongolia of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015 during which the partnership between the two countries was raised to the level of strategic partnership.

The two sides also recalled the state visit of President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga to India in September 2019, noting that these visits had contributed substantially in furthering bilateral ties and shared values.

The two Ministers acknowledged that this year marked the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia, and they noted with satisfaction that the relationship between the two countries had grown deeper and stronger especially in the last few years, the MEA said.

On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Mongolian side released a special stamp issued by Mongol Post.

EAM Jaishankar virtually handed over 25 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur, the Buddhist canonical text in 108 volumes, printed by the Government of India under the National Mission for Manuscripts, the MEA said.

The two ministers also positively evaluated the coordination between the two countries in regional and multilateral forums and agreed to continue this tradition as also supporting each other in relevant international forums, it said.

The Indian side also welcomed the decision by Mongolia to join the International Solar Alliance. The two sides agreed that this initiative would further promote the use of clean energy in India, Mongolia and the world.

The two sides agreed to establish an AYUSH Information Cell in Ulaanbaatar at an early date, the MEA said.

The Indian side conveyed its appreciation on the institution by Mongolia of a ‘visa on arrival’ status for Indian citizens, it said.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction that despite COVID-19 challenges several special flights that had been arranged between the two countries in the last few months, which had allowed citizens of the two sides to return to their respective countries.

They also exchanged views of possible cooperation in combating COVID-19, including procurement by Mongolia in the future of COVID-19 vaccine from India, the statement said.

During the meeting, the two ministers also reviewed the progress of ongoing developmental partnership projects including the USD 1.236 billion Line of Credit Oil Refinery Project and the USD 20 million Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in ICT and Outsourcing.

Tweeting about the meeting, Jaishnkar said, 'Joined Mongolian Chief Cabinet Secretary L.Oyun-Erdene for co-chairing 7th Joint Committee on Cooperation. Reviewed progress on our oil refinery project. Also discussed cooperation in steel, ICT, solar, education and defence. Confident we will achieve the vision of cooperation set out in 2015.' PTI ASK RDM RDM