Mongolia, ROK agree to upgrade relations to strategic partnership

2021-09-13 09:18:05

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. On September 10, President of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh held a virtual summit with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in.

It marked the first summit between the two countries since U.Khurelsukh was elected as the President of Mongolia in June. It is also the second meeting between the two leaders since U.Khurelsukh visited the Republic of Korea in January 2018 when he was working as the Prime Minister of Mongolia.

The Presidents of the two countries agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to ‘strategic partnership’ during the virtual summit and put out a joint declaration.

Within the joint declaration, the sides agreed to deepen and expand cooperation in five areas: politics and security; economy, trade and investment; education, science and technology, environment and health; culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges; and regional and international cooperation.

Highlighting that Mongolia and South Korea have been developing bilateral relations for more than 30 years based on their common values such as democracy, human rights and freedom, President U.Khurelsukh reaffirmed his commitment to further strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation.

President Moon Jae-in congratulated President U.Khurelsukh on his election and noted his delight with being the first foreign president to hold a summit with Mongolia's new head of state. He reiterated to strengthen relations and cooperation with Mongolia, a key partner in the New Northern Policy, and to work together in the implementation of Vision-2050, Mongolia's long-term development policy.

Emphasizing the importance of cooperation between the two countries' legislatures to strengthen the legal environment of bilateral relations, the sides agreed to further enhance political dialogue mechanisms, such as the Intergovernmental Joint Committee, and the Consultative Meetings between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

The two sides concurred to focus on developing economic priority areas such as transport, logistics, energy, mining and agriculture. President U.Khurelsukh briefed that the plans are underway to establish a satellite city and develop free economic zone at Khushig Valley along the recently opened airport at the valley. In turn, President Moon Jae-in expressed readiness to share experience and cooperate in this direction.

The sides stressed the need to further strengthen the legal environment to boost exports, increase investment and reduce trade barriers. Underlining that Mongolia's accession to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement has created more favorable trade conditions, they agreed to continue their efforts to launch the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) dialogues based on the results of the two countries' joint research.

President U.Khurelsukh noted that the loans and grants that have been provided by the Republic of Korea over the past years have made a valuable contribution to the social and economic growth of Mongolia, while emphasizing the necessity of accelerating development projects - Solongo 1 and 2 apartment complexes, rent apartments by the Bayangol Mountain and central heating station for 10 rural aimags - in cooperation with the ROK government. 

The sides agreed to bolster cooperation in the fields of environment, green development, tourism, culture and arts, and creative cultural production. In this context, it was agreed to implement the third phase of the Mongolia-ROK joint project - ‘Green Belt’, while underscoring the project’s significance in mitigating desertification and combating dust storms. It was also agreed to continue to realize scholarship programs, support the people-to-people exchanges, and further develop Mongol studies in South Korea and Korean studies in Mongolia.

The leaders also expressed their satisfaction with the development of bilateral ties and cooperation despite the harsh time amid the pandemic. President U.Khurelsukh thanked the government of the Republic of Korea for providing assistance to help combat the pandemic. They also agreed to expand people-to-people exchanges to strengthen friendship and deepen mutual understanding, and continue to work together to protect the interests of Mongolian and South Korean citizens living and working in the two countries, and create favorable living and working conditions.

The two sides also agreed to continue to work closely together in the international and regional arenas, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the stability of the Korean Peninsula in order to maintain peace and security in the Northeast Asian region. Moreover, both sides reaffirmed their mutual support for the ‘Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Security in Northeast Asia’, an initiative of Mongolia, and the ‘Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Health Protection’, spearheaded by the President of the Republic of Korea.