11th Meeting Of The India-Mongolia Joint Working Group:
The 11th meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Working Group was held in India.
- While acknowledging the growing ties between both the countries, they expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defense cooperation despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19 pandemic.
- India and Mongolia have interacted through Buddhism throughout history.
- Mongolia regards India as its “third” neighbor along with US, Japan, and Germany and a “spiritual neighbour”.
- India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955 and it was the first country outside the Soviet bloc to open diplomatic relations with Mongolia.
- The Indian Resident Mission in Ulaanbaatar was opened in 1971.
- This relationship was upgraded to “strategic partnership” in 2015 when the Indian Prime Minister visited Mongolia and declared it as an essential component of ‘Act East Policy’
- Mongolia has publicly reiterated its support for India’s membership to the permanent seat of the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- India has played an important role in getting Mongolia membership to key international forums, including the United Nations (UN), despite strong opposition from China and Taiwan.
- India also championed the inclusion of Mongolia in the Non-Aligned Movement.
- In a reciprocal gesture, Mongolia co-sponsored a 1972 UN resolution with India and Bhutan for the recognition of the newly liberated Bangladesh.
- In 2022, an India-built oil refinery at the cost of more than USD 1 billion and with a capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes was opened near Sainshand in southern Dornogovi province of Mongolia.
- This refinery will take care of 75 % of Mongolia’s oil refining needs
- India – Mongolia bilateral trade was USD 35.3 million in 2020, down from USD 38.3 million in 2019.
- The India-Mongolian Agreement on Cultural Cooperation, signed in 1961, has governed the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two countries.
- The Agreement envisages co-operation in the fields of education by way of scholarships, exchange of experts, participation in conferences, etc.
- Joint defence exercises code-named Nomadic Elephant.
- India is also an active participant in an annual week-long joint training exercise called the Khaan Quest, hosted by Mongolia.
- Cooperation over Environmental Issues: Part of the Bishkek Declaration (snow leopard).