Remarks at U.S.-Mongolian Signing CeremonyJohn D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State
October 24, 2007
Remarks With Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell, and Mongolian Foreign Minister N. Enkhbold
(10:30 a.m. EDT)
DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: I want to welcome President Enkhbayar of Mongolia; his Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister Enkhbold; Finance Minister Bayartsaikhan; and the rest of the Mongolian delegation to the State Department. I would also like to welcome the Deputy Secretary of Energy, Mr. Clay Sell.
Yesterday, President Enkhbayar met with President Bush and Vice President Cheney for a robust discussion of our bilateral relationship, and our two presidents signed a $285 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. Let me say I also want to welcome our Ambassador to Mongolia, Ambassador Mark Minton (inaudible).
Today, we will sign three more documents that demonstrate that the United States-Mongolia bilateral relationship is a strong partnership based on common values and objectives. First, we will sign a Declaration of Principles to help guide our bilateral relationship in the years to come. Earlier this year, the United States and Mongolia celebrated the anniversary of 20 years of diplomatic relations. This Declaration should help make the next 20 years of relations strong, vibrant and mutually beneficial.
The second agreement will strengthen our current efforts to protect against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the possibility that terrorists might acquire these dangerous weapons. The Proliferation Security Initiative is a global effort of likeminded states joining together in partnership to stop shipments of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. We greatly appreciate Mongolia's participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative partnership and today, in response to Mongolia's growing open ship registry, we are signing a Proliferation Security Initiative Shipboarding Agreement that expands our cooperation even further.
I would now like, if I might, to introduce the Deputy Secretary of Energy, Mr. Clay Sell, who will speak to us briefly about the third instrument that we will be signing today.
DEPUTY SECRETARY SELL: Thank you, John. It's a pleasure to be with you here in the State Department. But it's particularly a pleasure for me as the representative of the Department of Energy to be with you, President Enkhbayar, and your delegation to sign what we regard as a historic agreement.
The United States and Mongolia do indeed have a partnership and a friendship based on common values and objectives. And today, we are expanding that friendship, that partnership, to further address this great threat of nuclear terrorism. When we think about that threat at the Department of Energy, our first line of defense is improving the security around nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and in other countries around the globe. But we have a very important second line of defense: to improve border crossing monitoring and improve our monitoring capabilities at key airports in transit countries around the world. This is a very significant effort on the part of our government. We have had relationships with 30 different countries and we've put in place monitoring equipment at over 160 sites.
And we are very pleased and we are very honored that with this agreement today we will be able to extend that cooperation, that friendship, that partnership with Mongolia to better protect the world and humanity from the threat of nuclear terrorism.
So it's my great honor and pleasure to do that with you today. Thanks.
DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: With that, it is my great pleasure to invite the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, Foreign Minister Enkhbold, to make remarks. Please, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER ENKHBOLD: Good morning, everybody. First of all, I would like to point out that the visit of the President of Mongolia to the United States is going on very well. And today, by signing these very important documents, I am extremely pleased that we are doing our share of job also within the framework of this visit.
I completely agree with what has just been said by the two deputy secretaries concerning the content of these documents. And it's very important when nations, small and big, combine their efforts, synergize their efforts; the result is always better than when it's done by one side.
So I am glad to be signing these documents together with my colleagues from the U.S. State Department and Energy agency, and I hope that implementation – (inaudible) implementation of these documents will contribute to the success of this visit, to the common cause we are pursuing together with our American friends in order to make this world a better place to live for everybody.
DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: Thank you. (inaudible)
DEPUTY SECRETARY NEGROPONTE: That, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our brief ceremony this morning. On behalf of the Secretary of State, Mr. President, I want to thank you for your presence here this morning, and as well as the Foreign Minister and Finance Minister of the delegation of Mongolia. With the signing of these agreements, which are examples of the excellent and continuously improving bilateral relationship between our two countries. Thank you again for being with us this morning.