"In the last 20 years, Mongolia has captured the imagination of the world by its remarkable transition to democracy," U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said during a visit to Mongolia recently. "That journey started with a small demonstration . . . on Human Rights Day in 1989; it blossomed into a movement that inspired thousands of Mongolians; and it led to [Mongolia’s] first free elections.
"Today Mongolia is not just a shining example for other nations in transition," Vice President Biden continued. "But it’s an emerging leader in the world-wide democratic movement, a responsible actor on the world stage, and a close friend and partner of the United States."
Mongolia’s soldiers have been deployed as United Nations' peacekeepers and observers in Sierra Leone, Chad, Darfur, Kosovo, Western Sahara and other countries in the last 10 years. Mongolian soldiers have also served with the International Coalition Forces in Iraq and are now serving in Afghanistan.
"Americans admire and appreciate Mongolia’s contributions to international peace and security," Vice President Biden said. "[And] the United States remains strongly committed to helping the Mongolian people build a better future."
In the last 20 years, the United States Agency for International Development has provided more than $200 million to Mongolia, with programs that seek to bolster democracy and economic growth. The United States has committed another $285 million through the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact that is focused on combating corruption through training programs, improving the rule of law by developing checks and balances, vocational training to prepare Mongolians for better jobs, and improving infrastructure to make the country’s critical north-south corridor more accessible.
"I hope that . . . the people of Mongolia will take my visit here today — and President [Barack] Obama’s meeting with the President [of Mongolia] earlier this summer [in Washington D.C.]. . . as signs of how important this relationship is to the United States," Vice President Biden concluded. "We are very proud to be considered as a 'third neighbor.' Like any good neighbor should, we’ll continue to do our part to support Mongolia’s political and economic development."