Building on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mongolia in May 2015, the two countries decided to elevate their ties to the level of strategic partnership and signed a framework agreement for using India’s Line of Credit (LoC) of $1 billion for railway and infrastructure projects.
The framework agreement was signed during the visit of Mongolia’s Foreign Minister L. Purevsuren’s to India April 27-28. The two countries had upgraded the relationship to a Strategic Partnership during Mr Modi’s visit with the signing of a series of important agreements in areas of defence and security. Following Mr Purevsuren’s meeting with India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, the two countries also agreed to exchange sentenced prisoners. “On track for the future. India and Mongolia sign agreements for US$ 1 bn LoC and exchange of prisoners”, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Elevating its ties with New Delhi, Mongolia has accorded India the status of a third neighbour, after Russia and China.
India had announced the LoC for infrastructure development and signed 14 agreements Mr Modi’s historic visit, the first trip to the Central Asian country by an Indian Prime Minister.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan visited Mongolia earlier this month as a part of the ongoing high-level exchanges between the two countries. According to an official statement, “The visit helped to consolidate parliamentary exchanges and underscored the shared bonds of democracy which further strengthen bilateral relations based on age-old spiritual and cultural foundation connecting the peoples of India and Mongolia”.
Mongolia conferred the highest civilian award, the Order of North Star, on two Indians. Lokesh Chandra, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Mansura Haider, former Academic Adviser of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) were the recipients of the award. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Purevsuren said, “President of Mongolia, Tsakhia Elbegdorj, bestowed the Order of North Star on these two eminent scholars and I am honoured to hand over these awards to them during my official visit to India”.
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