Mongolia a model of democracy for the region, German president says

Ulan Bator (dpa) - German President Joachim Gauck said Thursday that Germany was impressed with how Mongolia "respects the principles of democracy, even if it‘s not always easy."

"Your country is now in a position to give a good example in the neighborhood of fair and free elections," he said on a visit to the resource-rich country, which borders Russia and China.

He was received with military honours in the capital Ulan Bator by President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, who said he would work to improve conditions for foreign investment.

Gauck also spoke with students and teachers at the German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology. The college was founded in 2011 as a contribution to the raw materials partnership between the two countries.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has provided 4 million euros (4.6 million dollars) for the project until 2016. There are currently around 75 students and several German teachers.

Mongolia is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of raw materials especially coal, copper, gold, uranium and rare earths that are used in the production of mobile phones among other products.

The country‘s economy is largely dependent on exports to China.

Mongolia has a population of around 3 million, making it the least densely populated country in the world.

Gauck was to end his Asia trip Friday with a visit to the archeological site of Karakorum, the former capital of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan, where joint excavations have been going ahead with German funding for 20 years.
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