Indian Nuclear experts' team to visit Mongolia for modalities

New Delhi: As a follow up to a civil nuclear deal signed last year, an expert team from India will travel to Mongolia shortly to work out modalities for its implementation, a visiting Mongolian minister said here.

"A team of experts from Mongolia has already visited India to discuss the modalities for implementing the nuclear deal. A team of experts from India will visit Mongolia soon to work out the modalities," Mongolian minister for Science, Education and Culture Yondon Otgonbayar told PTI in an interview here. The agreement was signed in September last year during the visit of Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Mongolia, which is believed to have ample resources of uranium, was the sixth nation with which India signed the civil nuclear pact after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted a 34-year-old ban on India in September 2008 to have trade in the field with the international community.

India has also inked civil nuclear agreements with the US, Russia, France, Kazakhstan, Namibia and Argentina and concluded negotiations for a similar pact with Canada.

The 'Memorandum of Understanding on Development of Cooperation in the field of Peaceful Use of Radioactive Minerals and Nuclear Energy' would enable India to look for uranium in Mongolia.

Otgonbayar said his country wanted enhancement of relations with India in all spheres and was particularly seeking Indian investments.

"We are looking for further expansion of bilateral trade. We are inviting Indian companies to be involved in mining and iron ore production in Mongolia," the visiting minister said.

Indian companies like Jindal and Mesco steel have evinced interest in iron ore production and mining of coking coal, Otgonbayar said.

The landlocked country exports wool to India while it imparts various vaccines and software from India. The bilateral trade is to the tune of $20 million per annum.

India has announced $25 million stabilisation fund for Mongolia to help it in mitigation of the impact of global financial crisis.

"We will spend the fund for development of our IT sector. We are looking for negotiating with Indian IT companies for further cooperation," Otgonbayar said.

The minister said his government will take help of Indian government in expanding the school education system back home. Mongolia is interested in more students' exchange programmes with Indian universities, which offer high quality education.

At present, there are about 600 Mongolian students pursuing higher studies in India. He said Mongolia has invited prime minister Manmohan Singh to visit Ulan Bator this year.

"We are celebrating 55th year of our diplomatic ties with India this year. Our prime minister has invited Indian prime minister to visit Mongolia this year. The invitation has been accepted," he said.

Source:PTI (Press Trust of India) News Agency


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