Hagel gets horse, moves to increase military ties with Mongolia as Asia trip wraps up

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) — After days of high-profile, pressure-filled meetings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got to horse around a bit during a short stop in Mongolia on Thursday.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, is presented with a horse as a gift by Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel, right, at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense, Thursday, April 10, 2014, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  (AP Photo/Alex Wong, Pool)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, is presented with a horse as a gift by Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel, right, at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense, Thursday, April 10,...   (Associated Press)
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel  attend a joint press conference at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. After days of high-profile, pressure-filled meetings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got to horse around a bit during a...
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel attend a joint press conference at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Ulan...   (Associated Press)
Accompanied by Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel, left, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, reviews a honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  After days of high-profile, pressure-filled meetings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got to horse...
Accompanied by Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel, left, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, reviews a honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense...   (Associated Press)
(3 of 3)
 « Prev | Next » Slideshow
Following a time-honored tradition, Mongolian Defense Minister Bat-Erdene Dashdemberel presented Hagel with a buckskin-colored horse in a ceremony in front of that country's defense ministry. Hagel, who was wrapping up a 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, named the horse Shamrock.
Tradition dictates the 9-year-old gelding be named after something of importance to the recipient, Hagel said. "Shamrock was the mascot of the high school that I graduated from, St. Bonaventure in Columbus, Neb.," he said. "It was one of the most important times of my life."
Shamrock will stay in Mongolia, where he has been serving in the cavalry's honor guard battalion. No one will ever ride the horse but Hagel, officials said.
"Now you be good while I'm gone," Hagel said as he patted the stocky horse.
Hagel is the second defense secretary in recent years to receive one of the Mongolian horses, which are bred for endurance. Then-Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld also got one when he visited Mongolia in October 2005. He named it Montana because the arid, mountainous landscape around the Mongolian capital reminded him of that state.
The gift to Hagel reflected the congenial tone of the day, as the secretary and Bat-Erdene signed an agreement that calls for expanding U.S. military training and exercises with Mongolia. The agreement signed by Hagel noted that Mongolia "serves as a stabilizing influence in Asia and is seeking to modernize its military in a transparent fashion."
Landlocked with 2.8 million people spread over an area twice the size of Texas, Mongolia is dwarfed by China, but also relies on the Asian nation for much of its economy. It has worked to maintain its independence from Beijing and Moscow by increasing its ties to other world powers, including the U.S. and Japan.
Mongolian troops have been a visible and frequent force in Iraq and Afghanistan, often providing security at U.S. facilities. There are about 10,000 active duty Mongolian troops, and to date 9,500 have served in Iraq, Afghanistan or another peacekeeping mission around the world.
All the commanders who led Mongolian troops during the Iraq and Afghanistan deployments went through U.S. training programs, the Pentagon said. The U.S. provides about $2 million in foreign military sales annually to Mongolia, and another $1 million in military education and training.
The Mongolia stop was brief and friendly as the two defense chiefs talked about how they want to improve Mongolia's peacekeeping efforts and its military's medical services. Hagel's meetings in China, however, were often sharper and controversy-tinged.
The U.S. has criticized Beijing's recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed remote islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China. Hagel and the Chinese leaders have delivered sharp exchanges on those issues, as well as Washington's continued close ties with Taiwan, at meetings and public events.
Beijing leaders meanwhile have asserted their right to protect and regain their territories using diplomacy and military action if necessary. And they have questioned U.S. claims that it remains neutral on the sovereignty of the disputed islands. The U.S. has also committed to protect Japan, which is a treaty ally.
On Wednesday, Hagel met with China President Xi Jinping in a session U.S. administration officials described as more positive than some of the sharper meetings earlier in the week with the defense minister and others.
At the start of the meeting, Xi, speaking through a translator, said Hagel's visit "will definitely push forward the development of our new model of military-to-military relationship."
Senior U.S. officials said the ongoing tensions with North Korea, including Pyongyang's threats to conduct additional missile launches and a nuclear test, were a key topic during the meeting.
Hagel stressed that China and the U.S. must work together, and both agreed that the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was a priority, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk publicly about the private session so spoke on condition of anonymity.
Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Facebook page

Powered by Blogger.

Categories

Advertising in Mongolia An Culture Editorial of the Mongolianviews education Environmental protection Famous Mongolians Foreigners in Mongolia Inner Mongolia Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia agriculture Mongolia analysis Mongolia and Australia Mongolia and Belorussia Mongolia and Cambodia Mongolia and Canada Mongolia and central Asia Mongolia and China Mongolia and Cuba Mongolia and EU Mongolia and Germany Mongolia and Hongkong Mongolia and Hungary Mongolia and India Mongolia and Inner Mongolia Mongolia and Iran Mongolia and Italy Mongolia and Japan Mongolia and Kazakhstan Mongolia and Korea Mongolia and Kuwait Mongolia and Malaysia Mongolia and Nato Mongolia and North Korean Mongolia and Poland Mongolia and Russia Mongolia and Singapore Mongolia and South Korea Mongolia and Taiwan Mongolia and the world Mongolia and Tibet Mongolia and Turkey Mongolia and UK Mongolia and Ukraine Mongolia and UN Mongolia and USA Mongolia and Vietnam Mongolia Banking Mongolia civic society Mongolia crime Mongolia diplomacy Mongolia Economy Mongolia Education Mongolia Energy Mongolia Finance Mongolia Health Mongolia History Mongolia holiday Mongolia in international media Mongolia Industries Mongolia Joke Mongolia law Mongolia LGBT Mongolia medical Mongolia military Mongolia Mining Mongolia Mining Developments Mongolia Mortgage Mongolia natural disaster Mongolia Petroleum Mongolia public announcements Mongolia railways Mongolia Religion Mongolia society Mongolia Sports Mongolia Stamp Mongolia telecommunication Mongolia tourism Mongolia Urbanization Mongolia Wild Life Mongolian Agriculture Mongolian Archeology Mongolian Food Mongolian Gay Mongolian Government news Mongolian History Mongolian Military Mongolian Mining Development Mongolian Movie Mongolian News Mongolian Parliament Mongolian Political news Mongolian Press Mongolian Songs Mongolian Women Mongolian Youth Mongolians abroad Moninfo Opinion Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement Photo news Press Release Rio Tinto Tavan Tolgoi coal mine Ulaanbaatar development Weird expatriates in Mongolia

Blog Archive

Followers

Live Traffic