New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday attended the ground breaking ceremony for an Indian-funded oil refinery in Mongolia and termed it an important milestone in bilateral ties between both the countries.
The ceremony at Stantsiin Hooloi in Altanshiree Soum was attended, among others, by Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagin Khurelsukh.
"Both India and Mongolia should work in close coordination not only for progress and development of Asia but to usher peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region," said Rajnath Singh, who is on a 3-day visit to Mongolia, according to an official statement.
Recalling the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 during his visit to Mongolia, he expressed confidence that with the start of this refinery, Mongolia would derive rich benefits.
Supported by a $1 billion soft credit line from India, the new refinery is as part of India's effort to develop further ties with the landlocked country and help reduce its energy dependence on neighboring China and Russia.
Rajnath Singh was of the opinion that this will further strengthen the relationship between both the countries, recalling that it was India which first established diplomatic relations with Mongolia after it came out of communist bloc.
The Home Minister lauded the efforts made by Kushak Bakula, who during his life called upon the youth to lead life with human values, and termed him a "symbol of peace and love".
With the minister on a visit to Mongolia to further strengthen bilateral relations and security cooperation, the statement noted that the northeast Asian country is "seen as an important strategic partner of India and New Delhi wants to realise the huge potential of bilateral relations with Mongolia".