Turkish-Mongolian ties feted at reception in Ankara

ANKARA

Historical and cultural ties between Mongolia and Turkey date back thousands of years, Mongolia’s ambassador in Ankara said on Tuesday.

At a reception in the capital Ankara marking Mongolia’s 95th anniversary and 50 years of diplomatic ties with Turkey, Ambassador Bold Ravdan said that the two countries, sharing the same ethnic roots, grew closer after developing a comprehensive partnership in 2004.

“Mongolia has only two geographical neighbors,” Ravdan told the assembled envoys and military attaches from various countries.

“But the Mongolian State’s Great Khural [parliament] called Turkey its ‘third neighbor’.”

Ravdan said that Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkey’s state aid agency, had helped Mongolia preserve its historic monuments in a land where the Turkish people have deep roots.

“Mongolia will be working closely with Turkey in all aspects of politics, the economy, security, defense, commerce, and humanity,” he said, adding that Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop recently visited the country.

For the two decades up to 2019, over 2,200 students from Mongolia graduated from Turkish universities, half of them on Turkish government scholarships, he said.

Trade hopes

“The two sides are working towards achieving a strategic partnership agreed on during Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to Mongolia in 2013,” Radvan said. In 2013, President Erdogan was prime minister.

The trade volume between two countries is $300 million, he said, adding that the two sides are working to boost this figure.

“We’re working to explore the possibility of establishing a free trade agreement,” he said.

Ravdan said that two sides enjoy a “very high-level” exchange and cooperation in the defense sector.

Hailing Turkey’s humanitarian efforts, he said Mongolia knows the “burden of regional humanitarian crises on the shoulders of our Turkish brothers.”

He added: “We are also fully aware that our Turkish brothers are playing a leading role in the fight against international terrorism.”

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the guest of honor, said that Turkey has long helped Mongolia integrate with the international arena.

“Turkey is holding a tourism forum with Mongolia in Istanbul next month,” he announced.

The two countries will also be signing several pacts in the fields of science, education, culture, and sports to strengthen bilateral cooperation, he said.
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