Kerry hails Mongolia as 'oasis of democracy' in tough neighborhood

A woman in traditional attire presents U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with cheese curds as he disembarks from his plane upon arrival at Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar, MongoliaBy Yeganeh Torbati ULAANBAATAR (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hailed Mongolia as an “oasis of democracy” sitting in a tough location between Russia and China as he made a rare visit by a cabinet-level U.S. official on Sunday. Arriving from Paris, Kerry made the visit to Mongolia en route to Beijing to attend the eighth Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the high-level talks held between the United States and China each year. The Obama administration has sought to cultivate Mongolia as a partner, given its location between two increasingly assertive U.S. rivals – China and Russia, countries Mongolia relies on heavily for trade and energy imports.

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