Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj attended the 14th summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States and hosted the first trilateral meeting of the three state heads of Russia, China and Mongolia, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Below are excerpts from the President’s speech opening the meeting and his proposal for continued discussions through the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue:
“I extend my gratitude to you for participating in the current trilateral meeting of the heads of state organized at the initiative of Mongolia… Today we have gathered to discuss issues related to organizing the high-level ‘Ulaanbaatar Meeting’ aiming to enhance mutually fruitful trilateral cooperation between Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.
“Mongolia’s initiative to organize a trilateral high-level meeting of the heads of state in Ulaanbaatar is to develop long-term, friendly and neighborly relations with Russia and China. There are a number of issues concerning infrastructure and transit transportation, which need to be addressed by trilateral discussions, as the three countries border with large territories… Mongolia is able to have an outlet to the sea only through the territories of its neighboring countries. Mongolia sees itself as the shortest and the most secure transport infrastructure hub for Russia to exit from Europe to Asia and for China to exit from Asia to the European market.
“At today’s meeting, Mongolia is proposing the following three issues to discuss, exchange opinions and reach a consensus. First, exchange views to reach common consensus on the above mentioned basic principles on organizing the trilateral meeting in Ulaanbaatar, between Mongolia, Russia and China.
“Second, implementing the ‘General Intergovernmental Agreement on Developing Cooperation in Railway Transit Transportation’ signed between the governments of the three countries during the visits of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, and organizing a trilateral working group meeting in Ulaanbaatar this year. Also, there is an opportunity to organize such tripartite working group meetings to study the opportunities to stretch the “Western Corridor of Natural Gas” through Mongolian territory.
“Third, I would like to request Mr. Xi Jinping and Mr. Vladimir Putin’s support for Mongolia on joining the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as a member-country, during the APEC Forum in November 2014. To prepare for the high-level Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, I would like to propose an initiative to schedule an annual Deputy Foreign Minister meeting between the three countries and organize the first meeting in Ulaanbaatar this year. I hope the first trilateral high-level meeting will successfully take place in Ulaanbaatar, intensifying trilateral cooperation and partnership between the three countries. I am confident that our fruitful cooperation would contribute not only to the people of our three countries, but also to development in the region.”
President Putin and President Xi Jinping gratefully accepted President Ts.Elbegdorj’s initiative. Putin said, “My visit to Mongolia was timed on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. I would like to note, in this connection, that Russia and China bore the brunt of the attack from both Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan. The events of those years are close to our hearts, despite the fact that they occurred over 70 years ago. Mongolia actively helped the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War, and we will always remember that.
“Next year we will be marking 70 years of victory in the Great Patriotic War. I already had the pleasure of inviting the presidents of the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia to visit Moscow during these gala events. I would like to confirm my invitation.
“Naturally, the geographic proximity of Mongolia, Russia and China help us implement beneficial long-term projects in infrastructure, energy and mining. We have things to discuss and we find it important, feasible and useful to establish a regular dialogue.”
Putin added that he hoped Mongolia would decide to become a full-fledged member of the SCO.
President Xi Jinping proposed building an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia and put forward the proposal on the sidelines of the 14th SCO Summit.
The “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative, proposed by Xi during his visit to Central Asia last year, eyes a revival of the ancient trade route linking China with Central Asia and Europe.
China believes that the three countries can dovetail the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia’s transcontinental rail plan and Mongolia’s “Prairie Road” program, and jointly build a China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor.
The Chinese president called on the three sides to strengthen traffic interconnectivity, facilitate cargo clearance and transportation, and study the feasibility of building a transnational power grid. Xi also suggested that the three countries beef up cooperation in such areas as tourism, think tanks, media, environmental protection, and disaster prevention and relief. The three countries should deepen cooperation within the framework of the SCO, jointly safeguard regional security, and achieve common development, said the Chinese leader.
On international cooperation, Xi noted that the three countries need to jointly safeguard the basic norms governing international relations; advocate a new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and collaboration; and jointly promote the political resolution of international disputes and pressing issues.
China supports Mongolia’s participation in regional affairs, said Xi, inviting Mongolia to participate in the activities that China and Russia plan to hold next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victories of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, as well as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
Noting that the three countries are good neighbors and partners, Xi said the trilateral summit is of great significance to deepening mutual trust, promoting win-win cooperation among the three parties, and pushing forward regional cooperation in Northeast Asia.
President Xi Jinping added that China supports Mongolia’s bid to join APEC, Mongolia’s initiative to host the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue, and appropriate participation in Northeast Asian mechanisms.
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