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India grants USD 1 bln credit to Mongolia; deepens defence ties


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr. Chimed Saikhanbileg signing the agreements between India and Mongolia, at the State Palace, in Mongolia on May 17, 2015. A PIB photo

ULAN BATOR (PTI): India on Sunday announced a US$ one billion credit line to Mongolia for infrastructure development as they 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 and 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 US$ one billion to support expansion of Mongolia's economic capacity and infrastructure," Modi said at a joint press interaction with Saikhanbileg at the State Palace in Ulan Bator.

"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 Asia Pacific region. We can work together to help advance peace, stability and prosperity in this region," Modi said, pitching for close bilateral ties amid China's push for increasing its regional influence.

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.

Later, at a banquet hosted in his honour, Modi said, "Ours is a relationship that is not measured on the scale of commerce or driven by competition against others. It is a relationship of immeasurable positive energy that comes from our spiritual links and shared ideals."

"So, as we celebrate 25 years of democracy in Mongolia and 60 years of our diplomatic relations, we know that the best for relationship lies ahead of us," 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.

After signing the agreements, Modi said, "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," the Prime Minister added.

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