Rajnath Singh, the first Indian Defence Minister to visit Mongolia, was gifted a horse by President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh on Wednesday, seven years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a similar gift from the leadership of the country.
"A special gift from our special friends in Mongolia. I have named this magnificent beauty, ‘Tejas’. Thank you, President Khurelsukh. Thank you Mongolia," Mr. Singh tweeted on Wednesday along with pictures of the white horse.
On Tuesday, Mr. Singh called on President Khurelsukh and reviewed the strategic bilateral ties.
“Excellent meeting with the President of Mongolia, H. E. U. Khurelsukh in Ulaanbaatar. Recalled my last meeting with him in 2018, when he was the Prime Minister of the country. We are fully committed to further deepening our multifaceted Strategic Partnership with Mongolia," Mr. Singh said in a tweet.
The Mongolian President expressed satisfaction with the expansion of relations and cooperation with India, Mongolia’s important third neighbour while pointing out that the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mongolia in 2015, and the ongoing visit of the Defence Minister Singh are the important impetus for further development.
Mr. Khurelsukh also said that there is a full possibility of elevating the strategic partnership between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Mongolia's Montsame national news agency reported.
Racehorse for PM Modi
In 2015, Prime Minister Modi received a special gift — a brown racehorse — from his then Mongolian counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg during his historic visit to this country. The horse was named ‘Kanthaka’.
Mongolia is known as the land of the horse, according to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). It is home to more than 3 million horses, making the horse population almost equal to the human population in the vast nation. Even in the 21st century, Mongolia remains a horse-based culture and retains its pastoral traditions.
Meanwhile, Mr. Singh also visited the Gandan Monastery in Mongolia on Wednesday.
"Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh visited the Gandan Monastery in Mongolia today and interacted with the highest Buddhist monk of the country," the Defence Minister of India tweeted.
Defence Minister Singh is on a five-day visit to Mongolia and Japan from Monday with an aim to expand India's strategic and defence ties with the two countries in the backdrop of evolving regional security matrix and geo-political turmoil.
Mr. Singh's visit to Mongolia from September 5 to 7 is the first-ever tour to the East Asian country by an Indian defence minister.