Macron makes first French presidential visit to Mongolia

On Sunday (21 May), Emmanuel Macron  made a brief but symbolic visit to Mongolia, the first by a French president to the country nestled between China and Russia that is of growing strategic interest in the West.

Macron then attended a reception at Sukhbaatar Square, which contains a large statue of Mongolian revolutionary hero Damdin Sukhbaatar and a monument to Genghis Khan.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was the star guest at the G7, where he addressed Western allies and leaders of non-aligned nations like Brazil and India.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, France has stepped up diplomacy with countries that have not explicitly condemned it — of which Mongolia is one.

In Ulaanbaatar, Macron attended a state dinner at the museum of Genghis Khan, named for the 13th-century Mongol conqueror.

The institution will lend part of its collection to the Nantes History Museum in western France for an exhibition scheduled for October.

Mongolia can also be part of European efforts to diversify supplies “to guarantee our energy sovereignty,” the source added. The vast north Asian country has been the subject of growing interest in recent years from the United States as part of a strategy to thwart the rise of China. Eighty-six percent of Mongolia’s total exports go to China, half of which is coal. Mongolia has struggled with political instability since its first democratic constitution in 1992, when it emerged from the Soviet orbit.

(AFP)

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