May 30, 2024

Remarks by Vice President Harris and Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai of Mongolia

Remarks by Vice President Harris and Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai of Mongolia

Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

2:02 P.M. EDT

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Good afternoon, everyone. 

Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to the White House.


VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  We have been looking forward to your visit.  And we, of course, have a lot to discuss that is about continuing to strengthen the relationship between our nations.

Mongolia has been a reliable democracy and friend in the Indo-Pacific for more than three decades, and the partnership between our countries has helped to ensure stability and prosperity in the region.  And the American people have a profound stake in the future of the Indo-Pacific.

As a proud Pacific power, it is in our vital interest to promote an Indo-Pacific region that is open, interconnected, prosperous, secure, and resilient, which is why President Biden and I have each been, since we have been in office, to the Indo-Pacific three times each.  And as Vice President, I’m proud that I have met with nearly three dozen regional leaders, here in Washington and in the region, in bilateral meetings such as this one and at multilateral summits. 

Since we have taken office, the President and I have made it our intention and focus to reinforce our defense and deterrence commitments and our security presence in the region.  We have provided an ambitious and affirmative economic agenda for the region that will deliver growth for the American people and the people in that region.  And together with our allies and partners, we have defended international rules and norms in the region and around the world which underpin our security and prosperity.

All of this work in the Indo-Pacific is guided by a key priority of the Biden-Harris administration, which is to strengthen our alliances and partnerships in the region. 

Which brings me to the agenda for our meeting today: which will include, Mr. Prime Minister, the work that we will continue to do to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Mongolia; the work that we will do and continue to do together to work on global challenges, which, of course, include the climate crisis but also the importance of upholding democracies and human rights; and, of course, addressing the threats to international rules-based order.

Today, I am pleased to announce that the next steps in our work together will be about further expanding our partnership.  In particular, we will discuss the work that we will do together to strengthen our space cooperation.  You and I spoke briefly about the beginning of the next era — and, for you, what that means, in terms of your leadership and your vision for the future.  And certainly, strengthening our space cooperation would be a part of that agenda — including, of course, using our space cooperation to think about how we strengthen the economic prosperity and development of our nations.

We will also sign an Open Skies Agreement, which will open the door to direct flights between the United States and Mongolia. 

And we will increase support for cultural exchanges, including the — the work that you are doing in terms of English language education in Mongolia. 

And together, we will also discuss the work we will do to support Mongolia’s efforts to drive economic-sector and private-sector economic engagement and investment in your country.

All of this reflects the commitment that the United States has to our friends in Mongolia and in the region. 

And again, I welcome you, Mr. Prime Minister.  And I look forward to our conversation.

Thank you.


Thank you, Vice President Harris, for kind — of your words.  And thank you for hosting me —


PRIME MINISTER LUVSANNAMSRAI:  — and my delegation to the White House.


PRIME MINISTER LUVSANNAMSRAI:  So, it’s a great honor to meet you, the first female vice president in U.S. history.

Our two countries established diplomatic relations — 1987.  Since that time, our bilateral relationship has grown from strength to strength.  Mongolia is best known as the birthplace of Genghis Khan and for the great history of Mongolian Empire and green landscapes and never-ending blue sky. 

In 19- — 1990s, the people of Mongolia voted for democracy and the market economy.  And we are very proud Americans regard us — an oasis of democracy for us.  So — and, for us, United States is not only our strategic third neighbor, but also the guiding North Star on our democratic journey. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank American people for their continued support and commitment to democratic reforms, and for the progress of market economy, and respect for human rights and freedom. 

The past 30 years, our democratic journey hasn’t been easy.  But Mongolia has been and will always be moving forward. 

Nelson Mandela once said, “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”  Mongolia will keep dreaming and keep fighting for our democracy, and we will do everything we can to achieve our goals of Vision 2050 for next 30 years. 

I’m looking forward to having very open and constructive talks with Vice President Harris regarding our strategic partnership, which forge closer links between our two nations and people.  We will discuss about high-tech solutions, including space and AI, and share our insights about global issues, such as climate change and geopolitical issues. 

During my visit, I am pleased that Mongolia and U.S. will issue joint statement strategic third neighbor partnership, and we are going to sign an economic cooperation roadmap.  These strategic documents will play a significant role in expanding our trade and economic cooperation and attracting more investment from the U.S. 

Mongolia economy, you know, mainly based on mining sector.  We have great potential in copper.  Soon, Mongolia will become one of the four largest copper producers in the world.  Our copper from the Oyu Tolgoi mine will not — benefit not only Mongolia but also the world because — and because high-tech solutions is part of our commitment for fight against climate change. 

We also have great potential in non-mining sectors, such as tourism and creative industries; green energy; agriculture, including cashmere; and transport and logistics. 

I am very glad that U.S. commitment to supporting us and our economic — diversifying our economy.  Mongolia is landlocked but not mine-locked. 

Mongolia is one of the over 40 landlocked countries in the world.  We face great challenges in terms of transport and logistics.  We seek your support raising these issues in the international stage. 

We will sign the Open Skies Agreement you mentioned between Mongolia and U.S.  I am excited that we are going to commence direct flights, our two countries, Q2 2024.  It’s going to be great opportunity to promote tourism and trade, business and investment. 

We have taken many steps to improve our legal environment and for investment and private-sector partnership, including constitutional reforms and digital transformation and fight against corruption. 

Mongolia has just legislated for English as (inaudible) foreign language in secondary education.  There were some challenges; it took more than 20 years to make this decision. 

We are confident that it’s significant step to support education for our next generation.  These achievements can only be sustained through partnership with longstanding democratic countries, such as the U.S.

In this regard, my government and Google will sign landmark agreement to promote education and digital transformation in Mongolia next — this week.

I am pleased to be here on my first official visit to the U.S. as the prime minister.  I have fond memories of my time studying in the U.S.  It’s great to be back.

Yesterday, I walked around Georgetown, where I — I used to live in a dorm.

So — and I look forward to catching up with some of my friends.  Next time, I hope to visit Cambridge and drop by Harvard Kennedy School.


PRIME MINISTER LUVSANNAMSRAI:  I hope that history will record my visit this week as the start of a new chapter in our friendship and the strategic partnership. 

Madam Vice President, thank you again for your kind hospitality and look forward to welcoming you in Mongolia.  Thank you so much.  It’s great honor for us.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you.  Thank you.

PRIME MINISTER LUVSANNAMSRAI:  Thank you.  Thank you so much.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Thank you.  Welcome.  Thank you.

         END                 2:11 P.M. EDT


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