During her official visit to the Commonwealth of Australia, Foreign Minister B. Battsetseg held official talks with the Honorable Penny Wong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia on 13 September 2023.
The Ministers assessed the current state of relations and cooperation between Mongolia and Australia as well as noted that the previous year marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and expressed satisfaction with the active development of cooperation in various fields, as well as the strengthening of people-to-people ties within the framework of the Expanded Partnership.
The parties agreed that, given the scale of relations and cooperation between Mongolia and Australia, it is desirable to elevate the level of relations between the two countries to a ‘Comprehensive Partnership’ and further enhance high-level mutual visits and political dialogue.
Minister B. Battsetseg pointed out that there is a significant opportunity to broaden trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as to expand cooperation in the fields of agriculture, culture, and tourism. Additionally, to strengthen the legal framework, the Minister expressed their willingness to work closely in establishing the ‘Air Services Agreement between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of Australia’ and the ‘International Social Security Agreement between the Government of Mongolia and the Government of Australia’ in the near future.
Minister Penny Wong expressed her confidence that the visit of Mongolian Foreign Minister B.Battsetseg to the Commonwealth of Australia will play an important role in the further development of relations and cooperation between the two countries. She also expressed her satisfaction that bilateral relations are deepening at the multilateral for a including the United Nations and international organizations. Minister Wong emphasized that it is important to strengthen cooperation in the areas of gender equality and climate change.
The sides acknowledged that the Australian Government’s scholarship program has made a valuable contribution to strengthening Mongolia’s human resources and fostering the country’s social and economic development. They further emphasized that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Mongolia’s participation in the Australia Awards scholarship program, with over 700 Mongolian students successfully completing their studies during this period. Additionally, they agreed to increase the number of Australia Awards students.
The Ministers noted the effective implementation of the ‘Work and Travel Visa’ agreement, which was implemented since 2022, and confirmed their mutual intention to increase the number of eligible citizens.
The Mongolian side expressed its gratitude to the Government of Australia for providing $250,000 USD to the Government of Mongolia through the Red Cross Society for flood damage elimination in Mongolia.
At the beginning of the meeting, the sides signed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia”. Both sides recognized the significance of this document for mutual consultation on regional and international issues, the exchange and training of diplomats from both countries, and the intensification of cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
After the meeting, Foreign Minister B.Battsetseg met with the representatives of Mongolian students studying under the Australia Awards scholarships.