AMBASSADOR GALT: Good evening.
Mr. Foreign Minister, distinguished guests, friends and colleagues, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to tonight’s reception honoring the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Mongolia diplomatic relations. I know from many of my predecessors that they wish they could be here tonight. They all fondly remember their time here.
I have been looking forward to marking this occasion since I began my tenure as United States Ambassador to Mongolia. I have highlighted this milestone at every opportunity, including in my public remarks and travels.
And today, thanks to the extraordinary partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy, we are able to commemorate 30 years of positive, friendly relations in a series of public events, including this morning’s academic conference and a joint concert featuring the American Break of Reality cello rock band and the Mongolian State Morin Khuur Ensemble.
We will have the pleasure of hearing Break of Reality perform again this evening.
I also look forward to an exciting year-long celebration of our 30 years of close diplomatic partnership. One of the biggest events will be the June visit to Mongolia of the Philadelphia Orchestra – the first-ever visit to Mongolia of a major U.S. orchestra.
In the year and decades ahead, I am confident we will strengthen our already robust bilateral relationship, working together to advance democratic ideals and human rights, expand our economic and trade ties, deepen our defense cooperation, and build new people-to people ties through the Peace Corps and educational and cultural exchange programs.
The United States is proud to be one of Mongolia’s closest “third neighbors.” We have valued this role since U.S. Secretary of State James Baker coined the term in his historic 1990 visit to Mongolia, and we remain committed to maintaining and expanding our close ties in the decades to come.
Mr. Minister, thank you to you and your team for hosting tonight’s event. And thank you, everyone, for joining us this evening. Enjoy the festivities!