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President of Mongolia Very Satisfied With Visit to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., July 15, 2004 - Natsagiyn Bagabandi, President of Mongolia, told the Voice of America today that he was "very satisfied" with his White House meeting with President Bush this morning.

In an exclusive interview with VOA after the two Presidents met, President Bagabandi said that both the Joint Statement and the Trade and Investment Framework agreements that resulted from his current visit are important as Mongolia strives to "create an economy to support ourselves." Seeking to create an environment that fosters trade and investment in Mongolia, President Bagabandi also brought up the topic of a possible Free Trade Agreement between his country and the United States.

Today's meeting also served to reaffirm Mongolia's support in the global fight against terrorism, which President Bagabandi called "a tangible threat to humanity." Referring to the on-going terrorism fight, the President pointed out that his country was one of the first states to express support for the United States. This cooperation has strengthened relations between Mongolia and the United States, because "the friendship passed through fire and blood is the true friendship," he said. He went on to reiterate Mongolia's support for rebuilding Iraq, saying that his country was not considering withdrawing troops and is preparing to send a third contingent of peacekeepers to replace Mongolian troops already deployed.

President Bagabandi was interviewed by correspondents from the VOA Newsroom and the Mandarin service, and excerpts will air on the Mandarin show Issues and Opinions and in other VOA television programming.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government. VOA broadcasts 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 96 million people. Programs are produced in English and 43 other languages.

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