Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari visits Mongolia

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Vice President of India, Md. Hamid Ansari.

File photo of Vice President of India, Md. Hamid Ansari.

Vice President Md Hamid Ansari has reached Mongolia to attend the two-day 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit. This year the theme for the Summit is “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”.

 Leading the Indian delegation at the summit, VP Ansari is likely to boost India’s efforts to build a resilient and multidimensional web of inter-connectivity between Asia and Europe.
“We look at not just the vast geographical space between India and Europe and Asia. The Vice President will focus on all the broad aspects encompassing the theme of connectivity. Of course, the current theme that is of huge concern to us as a country and that of the global community is terrorism. So I imagine that would definitely come up for discussion,” said Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs.
ASEM comprises of 53 entities – 51 countries from Asia and Europe and two regional bodies – the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat. It represents around 62.3 per cent of the world’s population, 57.2 per cent of the global GDP and almost 60 per cent of the world’s trade.
ASEM is a unique platform that serves to bridge the two continents of Asia and Europe for constructive partnership and exchange, under the three key pillars of political dialogue, economic collaboration and socio-cultural exchanges, the Ministry of External Affairs statement said.
The 11th ASEM Summit assumes special importance in view of the fact, that 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the dialogue forum, officials said. In the past, India has taken part in
four earlier ASEM summits after it joined the grouping in January 2007.
Since the Summit is the first ever international event of such stature that Mongolia is hosting, the participation of Vice President Ansari signifies the importance India attaches to its strategic partnership with Mongolia, the officials added.
During the visit, VP Ansari may also have an opportunity to meet the new Mongolian leadership after elections were held in the land-locked country in June this year, said Saran.
“We hope to have an opportunity to meet with the new leadership of Mongolia after elections there in June,” Saran explained.
India’s relations with Mongolia were upgraded to strategic partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country last year.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Vice President will also hold bilateral meetings with a few other participating leaders.
(With inputs from PTI)