DAS THORNTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman; His Excellency, Mr. President; His Excellency, Mr. Prime Minister. On behalf of the American people, I want to wish the people of Mongolia a hearty congratulations on the 25th anniversary of democracy!
Mongolia’s decision for democracy reflects the courage and determination of a nation of rugged individualists who want a say in how things are run. Thanks to Mongolia’s decision to hold elections 25 years ago today, three million Mongolians now have the chance to shape their government to help them realize their dreams and their goals.
The United States is a devoted friend of Mongolia and we are proud to be one of Mongolia’s close ‘third neighbors’. The United States and Mongolia share some of our most deeply-held values: independence, equality, and opportunity, and a commitment to help others achieve peace. Your peaceful political transition and positive and active participation on the world stage is an important example for others. Mongolia is a steadfast security partner, working with international partners whenever needed, in international peacekeeping missions from Afghanistan to South Sudan.
We applaud Mongolia’s leadership in the Community of Democracies, the Freedom Online Coalition, and other important organizations, as well as its willingness to share governance experiences with other countries in transition. We applaud Mongolia’s economic transformation and we look forward to further deepening our economic ties, through partnerships between our governments, through for example the Millennium Challenge Compact, and through investments and partnerships with U. S. companies. And of course, we look forward to continuing our rich cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Peace Corps in Mongolia this weekend reminds us of the more than 1,000 young Americans that have been generously hosted by mostly rural families over the past decades and the extraordinary sharing and learning that has happened as a result of those exchanges.
We look forward in America to strengthening the many bonds between our countries, and to partnering with Mongolia for the even brighter future that we know is ahead. Thank you very much, all my friends here. I would like to have the honor to present a message of congratulations from the Honorable Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. John Kerry. Thank you very much for the honor to be with you here today.