India, Mongolia to focus on nuclear and multilateral issues in April
The nuclear face-off with North Korea is a major concern for Mongolia, and high on the agenda for discussions between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Mongolian counterpart Enkhtuvshin Tsagaandari during the latter’s April 5-9 trip to India, a senior diplomat told The Hindu.
Apart from the nuclear threat, both sides are expected to discuss training of military forces for global conflict hotspots and more efficient border policing, in what is seen as a reachout by India to countries of the region after Mr. Modi’s visit there last year.
“The confrontation between North Korea and the Western powers has created regional turbulence in Mongolia’s neighbourhood and building an international consensus on this issue is in the interest of all Asian countries,” the diplomat told The Hindu on Wednesday, adding that there is a need to reduce tensions in the Korean peninsula.
The NSA-level talks are meant to begin almost a month-long diplomatic activities between India and Mongolia and will culminate in the India visit of the Foreign Minister of Mongolia on April 25. Mongolia is keen to utilise the diplomatic engagements of April for building strategic dialogue as well for begin the process of implementation of the Line of Credit of $1 billion that India pledged last year.
The diplomat noted that during the exchanges in April, both sides are expected to craft a strategy for multilateral forums like ASEM which will hold its 11th summit in Mongolia on July 15-16. In addition, India had supplied the Bhabhatron, a radiation therapy device for cancer patients following the civil nuclear agreement which was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2015 visit to Mongolia. The Bhabhatron has been installed in the National Oncology Institute of Mongolia and will be inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker
Sumitra Mahajan when she visits the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar to participate in the Asia Europe Parliamentarians Meeting for ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) on April 16.