[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George H. W. Bush (1991, Book I)]
[January 23, 1991]
[Pages 57-59]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks Following Discussions With President Punsalmaagiyn Ochirbat of 
January 23, 1991

    President Bush. Mr. President, it's been my great honor to welcome
you to the White House for this historic visit to our country, the first 
ever by the head of state of Mongolia. Mr. President, Mongolia and the 
United States are countries separated by thousands of miles and a world 
of differences--in culture, history, and outlook. And yet, in this past 
year, our two nations have moved closer together, drawn toward one 
another by universal principles and ideals.
    In the past year, Mongolia has opened its controlled economy to free 
market reform, opened its closed political system, and opened its doors 
to the world. Opposition parties are now legal. Mongolia held its first 
multiparty elections in July--a free and fair vote that produced the 
first popularly elected legislature in Mongolia's history. This 
transition toward broader political freedom

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has a parallel in increased freedom of belief as well, with the 
reopening of several monasteries. Mr. President, your party's positive 
approach toward reform has meant peaceful change.
    In our discussions today, I made clear the strong support the United 
States is ready to offer as Mongolia moves forward toward greater 
freedom. President Ochirbat said he appreciated our support for 
Mongolia's efforts at democracy and restructuring, and he hopes to lay a 
firm foundation for positive development of bilateral relations, based 
on mutual benefit, noninterference in each other's internal affairs.
    Already, the United States has begun a program of technical 
assistance to Mongolia. Just this month, a team from AID traveled to 
Ulan Bator to brief 20 mid-level managers on free market reform and 
found 200 officials ready to exchange ideas, including many Members of 
the Mongolian Legislature. And this summer, for the first time ever, 
Peace Corps volunteers will begin working in Mongolia.
    Later this afternoon, our two countries will sign agreements opening 
the way to expanded trade and closer contact in the areas of science and 
technology. And today, I have issued the waiver to open the door 
granting Mongolia most-favored-nation status, a step that I hope will 
spur increased trade between our two countries.
    In addition to these matters of mutual interest, I reviewed with 
President Ochirbat world affairs of surpassing concern, including 
Operation Desert Storm. Mongolia was among the very first to condemn 
Iraq's brutal invasion of Kuwait and to call for Iraq's complete and 
unconditional withdrawal. Mr. President, after our talks, I know that 
you believe as I do that no nation must be permitted to assault and 
brutalize its neighbor. The action of Iraq's dictator--the actions of 
one misguided man--cannot obscure mankind's bright destiny of democracy 
and freedom. The future lies with the process of revolution and renewal 
now taking place in your nation--a democratic revolution that is 
destined to bring peace, freedom and prosperity to the people of 
Mongolia, as it has to this country and so many others around the world.
    So, once again, sir, it has been my distinct pleasure to welcome you 
to Washington and to this White House. And God bless you, and may God 
bless the people of Mongolia.
    President Ochirbat. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, at the 
outset, let me express our sincere thanks to Your Excellency, Mr. 
President, for the invitation to pay an official working visit to the 
United States of America and the warm welcome accorded to us. Availing 
myself of this opportunity to address you, the representatives of mass 
media, in this room of the White House--a house which has witnessed many 
outstanding historical events--I bring the friendly greeting of the 
Mongolian people to the American people.
    This is the first visit ever paid by the head of state of Mongolia 
to the United States of America. It is an evidence of a dynamic 
development of Mongol-American bilateral relations--particularly if you 
will recall that formal relations were established between the two 
countries only 4 years ago.
    President Bush and I had a frank exchange of views on bilateral 
relations and international issues of mutual interest. And I am 
extremely pleased to say that this meeting opened up broad vistas for 
furthering ties between the two countries. We highly appreciate the full 
support voiced during our meeting by President Bush on behalf of the 
U.S. administration for democratic processes that are gaining momentum 
in Mongolia.
    President Bush and I agreed to see to it that the Mongol-American 
relations be developed vigorously on the basis of the universally 
recognized principles of state sovereignty, independence, 
noninterference in each other's internal affairs, equality, and mutual 
    We have also agreed that there is a broad possibility for 
cooperation in encouraging U.S. investment and carrying out 
technological renovation in Mongolia, expanding bilateral trade, 
facilitating Mongolia's switch to a market economy, and training 
qualified personnel. I believe that the trade agreement and the 
agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the two 
countries, which are to be signed today, will be of much importance in 
making the best

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of these potentialities.
    And, of course, of the exchange of views on international issues, 
both sides unanimously emphasize the importance of pulling together the 
efforts of all states in order to strengthen the positive changes that 
are taking place in the world.
    As for the Persian Gulf crisis, we deeply regret the outbreak of an 
armed conflict there which is jeopardizing international stability. 
Should the Iraqi leadership meet the demands of the international 
community and withdraw its troops from Kuwait, this situation would not 
have occurred. The Mongolian People's Republic strongly hopes that the 
military operations by allied forces aimed at restoring Kuwait's 
independence and sovereignty would not escalate, and peace and 
tranquillity will prevail soon in the Persian Gulf region. Just as 
democracy, freedom, and human rights are the lofty ideals that should be 
upheld by all, this is what the Mongolian Government is strongly 
committed to in its domestic and foreign policies.
    Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the warm welcome accorded to 
us, the delegates of the Mongolian people. I wish you and the American 
people happiness and well-being.

                    Note: President Bush spoke at 1:16 p.m. in the East 
                        Room at the White House. President Ochirbat 
                        spoke in Mongolian, and his remarks were 
                        translated by an interpreter. Prior to their 
                        remarks, the two Presidents met privately in the 
                        Oval Office and with U.S. and Mongolian 
                        officials in the Cabinet Room, and then attended 
                        a luncheon in the Old Family Dining Room.