India, Mongolia Not Just ‘Strategic Partners’ But Also ‘Spiritual Neighbours’: Kovind

New Delhi: India and Mongolia are not just “strategic partners” but also “spiritual neighbours” connected by the shared Buddhist heritage, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Friday as he met his Mongolian counterpart Khaltmaagiin Battulga here.

Kovind received Battulga at Rashtrapati Bhavan and hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming him, Kovind said that this is the first visit of a Mongolian President in the last 10 years.

Expressing confidence that Battulga’s visit will be a milestone in India-Mongolia ties, Kovind said that India greatly values its close and friendly relations with Mongolia.

“We are not just strategic partners but also spiritual neighbours connected by our shared Buddhist heritage,” he said.

Kovind noted that the relations between India and Mongolia are now expanding into economic cooperation in several key areas like infrastructure, space and digital connectivity.

Both sides are also cooperating closely in the fields of cyber security, information technology, disaster management, mining and animal husbandry, he said.

The President appreciated Mongolia for its consistent support to India’s candidature for the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

Praising Mongolia’s decision to join the ‘International Solar Alliance’, Kovind said this will strengthen the bilateral partnership in the renewable energy sector and help combat climate change.

“Centuries-old people-to-people exchanges have been the bedrock of our ties. Buddhist monks and traders from India travelled to Mongolia with the message of peace, harmony and friendship.

“Similarly, over the ages, Mongolian scholars and pilgrims came to India in pursuit of Buddhist studies and spiritual blessings. This ageless tradition continues,” he said, adding that India, today, is privileged to host around 800 Mongolian students engaged in Buddhist studies.

“India remains committed to working with the government and people of Mongolia to further strengthen and expand our Strategic Partnership for the prosperity of our two peoples,” Kovind added.