India and Mongolia on Monday signed a crucial civil nuclear agreement for supply of uranium to New Delhi, making the country number fifth in the world to seal a civil nuclear pact.
The government, apart from announcing a soft loan of $25 million to rejuvenate the economy of the resource-rich Central Asian country, also signed four more agreements talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj here. Later in the evening an MoU was also signed between Ficci and Fifta (Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency of Mongolia, to further enhance trade relations with India.
The MoU on “development of cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy” was signed by senior officials in the department of atomic energy of the two countries.
Earlier, Singh, in an opening statement said that Indo-Mongolian relations have strong historical and spiritual roots. “They are characterised by warmth and deep friendship. The 1994 Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation provides the guiding principles for developing our relations,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the discussions with the visiting leaders were productive, where both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. Singh also revealed that after Monday’s discussions, bilateral ties have been raised to the level of a Comprehensive Partnership and added that a joint declaration would be issued that would chart out the future course of relations.
India has assured assistance to Mongolia in the field of education, particularly in the teaching of English language, and information technology. There is great potential for deeper cooperation in the areas of mining and agriculture. The two countries have agreed to increase trade, investment and economic exchanges, building upon the Bilateral Investment Protection and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements that are already in place.