The Federal Republic of Germany and Mongolia established diplomatic relations 40 years ago. To mark the anniversary, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier set off for a two-day visit to Mongolia on Saturday evening (5 July).
On arriving in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator on Sunday morning (6 July), Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier received a warm welcome: a girl in traditional Mongolian costume presented him with a blue scarf and a bowl of Mongolian dried quark.
Immediately afterwards the German Foreign Minister travelled into the centre of Ulan Bator for his first meeting, with his counterpart Luvsanvandan Bold at the Mongolian Foreign Ministry.
In a joint press conference with Bold, Steinmeier stressed the progress Mongolia has made in recent years:
We visitors from Germany certainly come with great respect for and appreciation of the transformation Mongolia has undergone in the past few years. We are impressed by the strength of civil society and by the patience and resolve shown by those in positions of political responsibility as the country modernises.
Steinmeier told his Mongolian colleague: “We are pleased to be among Mongolia's close partners.” In shaping political, economic and cultural relations, the Minister continued, Germany and Mongolia were linked by their shared values. The two countries, he added, were linked in friendship despite being geographically “distant neighbours”.
40 years of diplomatic relations
In the 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Steinmeier said, Germany and Mongolia had made advances in virtually every field, from the development of their raw materials partnership to the establishment of the German-Mongolian University, which is due to open by the end of the year. Steinmeier said he was also gratified by the “flourishing cooperation in the cultural sphere”. The cooperation on archaeological investigations in the old Mongolian capital Karakorum was just one example, he said.
All-round deepening of German-Mongolian relations
During his talks in Mongolia, Steinmeier aims among other things to deepen economic relations between Germany and Mongolia. One aspect of this is the expansion of the raw materials partnership agreed with Mongolia a few years ago. Another is the strengthening of cultural, academic and scientific relations between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier is being accompanied on his visit to Mongolia by a top-level business and cultural delegation which includes representatives of German companies and cultural institutions as well as the President of the German Archaeological Institute.
Further talks with the President and Prime Minister
During his stay in Mongolia, the German Foreign Minister will also meet Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag and President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
Steinmeier's trip has been organised to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany. It is his first visit to Mongolia and the first visit by a German Foreign Minister since 1996.