Rajnath Singh embarks on three-day visit to Mongolia with a view to strengthening bilateral relations and security cooperation

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday left for his maiden three-day visit to Mongolia, aimed at strengthening India's relation with the strategically important East Asian country that shares its boundaries with China and Russia.

File image of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI

File image of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI

The minister in his pre-departure message said India wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia.

"Leaving for Ulaanbaatar on a three day visit to Mongolia. Looking forward to further India's relations with Mongolia and strengthen security cooperation. Mongolia as an important strategic partner. India wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia," Singh said in a tweet.

He will participate in the ground breaking ceremony of an oil refinery at Ulaanbaatar on Friday, a Home Ministry spokesperson said, adding that Singh will also attend a reception hosted by the Mongolian prime minister on the same day.

Singh will call upon the Mongolian president on 23 June, the spokesperson said.

The Home minister will also visit a Buddhist monastery and hold a meeting with his counterpart and Mongolia's minister for justice and interior affairs on Saturday.

He will also visit the headquarters of Mongolia's Border Protection Force there before returning to Delhi on 24 June.

Singh was to visit Mongolia in 2017.

However, the visit was postponed after he suffered a hairline fracture.

The home minister's visit is likely to further intensify the bilateral relations in various key areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2015 visited Mongolia, the first ever visit by an Indian prime minister.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also in Mongolia in April where she discussed economic cooperation in infrastructure development, energy, services and information technology with her Mongolian counterpart.

The two countries also agreed to explore the possibility of launching direct air connectivity between New Delhi and Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.

Swaraj is the first Indian foreign minister to visit the resource-rich country in 42 years.

Diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia were established on 24 December, 1955.

India was the first country outside the then Socialist Bloc to establish diplomatic ties with Mongolia.

India had supported Mongolia in getting the United Nations and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) berths.

Both the countries also share common concern on terrorism.

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Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 16:31:05 IST

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