Mongolian ambassador visits Bozeman, Montana


CHRONICLE PHOTO Khasbazaryn Bekhbatk, Mongolian ambassador to the United States, talks with Bozeman residents at the Story Mansion on Tuesday.

Mongolia's ambassador to the United States was in Bozeman Tuesday, urging the community to strengthen its already stout ties to his Asian country.

Khasbazaryn Bekhbat, his wife and his advisors were in Bozeman after traveling to Colorado, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. While in Bozeman, he met with several Bozeman-based organizations that already work on projects with Mongolia , including Montana State University.

MSU has been sending students and faculty to Mongolia for close to 10 years through Bioregions International, which uses research and education to help sustain balances of natural, social and economic wealth in Mongolia, according to MSU.
Bekhbat said he hopes Mongolia can collaborate more with Montana on agricultural issues.

"I hope the collaboration will further expand, because Mongolia is primarily an agriculture and livestock economy," he said. "We attach top priority to developing our agriculture industry."

Along with academic ties, Bozeman is connected through organizations like the Tributary Fund, which promotes culturally sensitive conservation projects, and resident Kent Madin, Honorary Consul of Mongolia for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

The quiet reception for the ambassador, held at the Story Mansion, was sponsored by Madin, The Tributary Fund, Bioregions International, and travel agencies Boojum Expeditions and Sweetwater Travel.

Madin said he became a "Mongo-phile" when he got off an airplane in Mongolia and saw it wasn't too different from Bozeman. The similarities between Montana's and Mongolia's climate, economy and landscape foster their strong ties, he said.

"It makes mores sense to connect to Mongolia than to the Sudan," Madin said.

The ambassador said he was "somewhat aware" of the extensive ties between Bozeman and Mongolia before his visit Tuesday.

"But when you see and when you meet the people who maintain friendship with Mongolia, it's a very different thing," he said. "I encourage Montana and Mongolia to continue to build."

Daniel Person can be reached at dperson@dailychronicle.com or 582-2665.

By DANIEL PERSON Chronicle Staff Writer

Source:Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper issue dated Oct 20, 2009
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