In the first-ever visit by an Indian defence minister to Mongolia, Rajnath Singh arrived on Monday and held bilateral talks and meet the top leadership.
Singh met his counterpart Lt Gen Saikhanbayar and President of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh. “The two democracies have a common interest in fostering peace and prosperity in the entire region,” defence ministry officials said ahead of the visit. Defence cooperation has been a key pillar in India, Mongolia relations. Engagements include joint working group meetings, military to military exchanges, high-level visits and capacity programmes. Regional security issues are also expected to be discussed during the talks. “During the bilateral talks, the two defence ministers shall review the bilateral defence cooperation between India and Mongolia, and explore new initiatives to strengthen bilateral engagements,” officials said.
The visit is expected to further consolidate defence cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries, which already take part in regular military exercises. Since 2004, India and Mongolia have regularly conducted the Nomadic Elephant series of army exercises at various locations. Some of these have focused on joint peacekeeping missions while others have been anti-terror training drill.