Hamid Ansari to lead India to ASEM Summit in Mongolia
Vice President Hamid Ansari left for Mongolia accompanied by an Indian delegation for the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit. The two-day ASEM Summit will be held in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar following the theme "20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity." Mr. Ansari is likely to hold bilateral meetings with a few other participating leaders during the two-day summit.
About the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
The Asia-Europe Meeting is an informal procedure of dialogue and cooperation that brings together the 28 European Union member states, 2 other European countries, and the European Union with 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. It focuses on political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions. It was incorporated in 1996 including 53 entities presently.
India's connection with ASEM
India joined Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in January 2007 and took part in four earlier summits. ASEM will be completing 20 years of its establishment this year.
60 years of India-Mongolia ties
According to India's foreign ministry, India became the first country to establish diplomatic ties with Mongolia outside the Soviet Bloc on 24th December, 1955. In 1961, India took stand for Mongolia's membership into the United Nations, something that China had tried to block in the past. The last high-profile visit to Mongolia was made by India's former president Pratibha Patil in 2011.
PM Modi's Mongolia visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Mongolia upgraded India's relations with Mongolia in 2015. Modi's visit to Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, witnessed the signing of 14 agreements between the two sides for closer cooperation in renewable energy, dairy production, cyber security, air services, culture etc. India provided an amount of $1 billion for the infrastructural and economic development of Ulaanbaatar.
India and Mongolia have had cultural and historical ties for more than 2,000 years. In Indian thinking, Mongolia is generally linked with Genghis Khan: a horse-riding warrior who came to India in the 13th century to expand his empire.