7th AFMA Conference Opening speech

S.Nyamzagd
(President of Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Assocaitions, Exicutive Director of Concortium of Institutes and Universities of Mongolia)

Good Morning!
Dear Guests, Scholars, Ladies and Gentleman

Today we have gathered here to exchange our thoughts and views for better understanding relations between Middle East and Northeast Asian countries.

It has been 2 years since the sixth conference of Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Associations in Tokyo, Japan. That conference was held under the title "Middle East Perspectives from East Asia: Diversifying the Middle East and Islamic Studies", determined the Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Associations development perspectives. During this conference AFMA council elected me as the President of Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Associations and decided to organize the next (7th) International Conference in Mongolia.

Within this period we have been cooperating with Japanese, Korean and Chinese Association of Middle East Studies and we could preserve the previous tradition thank to which having this meeting today.

Having met with delegates of Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Assocaitions member countries, we found out that each country made tremendous effort to develop Middle East Study in each region with specific characteristics. Mongolian Association of Middle East Studies (MAMES) made considerable steps into focusing on the Middle East Studies in Mongolia.

As well as mobilizing state and government considerations in this field. In the last 2 years Mongolian president paid state visits to Middle East Countries, established diplomatic relations with Saudi-Arabia. As a result of which economic relations especially infrastructure cooperation in fields such as road construction, energy, petroleum as well as close relations at parliament level has been prospering effectively. Especially diplomatic relation with Mongolia- Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia reached to new qualitative level.

Kuwait Development Fund granted 12 million USD for construction of new palace for Mongolian parliament, sponsored 326km road construction. Taishir hydro power electro station was also sponsored by Kuwait fund. We are confident that our multi-literal cooperation in many cases depends on close relations among Middle East scholars' link.

I truly thank all of you for participating in the conference especially for the foreign scholars and delegates from Japan, Korea, China, Russia. I wish you all have an enjoyable time during your stay in Mongolia.


Opening speech

N.Altantsetseg
(Director of School of Foreign Service, National University of Mongolia)

Distinguished guests,
Scholars and professors,
Ladies and Gentleman

On behalf of School of Foreign Service of NUM, let me express my warm gratitude to all of you for joining to 7th conference of Asian Federation of Middle East Studies Associations entitled "The current situation and Perspectives of Middle East and Northeast Asia".

As the globalization process is speeding up, there are imminent demand for mutual understanding and cooperation among nations and more than that between developing countries. No nation can isolate herself from the regional system and furthermore from the global system. This is why we have deep interest and concern on the Middle East where civilization was first started on this planet.

Geographically, the countries of the Middle East which have considerable large amount of oil and natural gas resource in world and strong financial backbone are located at the very joint area of three continents and have effective participation to the Non-Aligned Movement. Regarding these factors, Mongolia has had an interest to attract investors, receive loans, assistance and also develop economic relations with these countries of the Middle East.

I am pleased to note that the conference provides an opportunity for scholars and observers from Mongolia, Japan, Korea, China, Russia to exchange fresh informations, to share their own ideas and hone their arguments in different field such as international relations, politics, economics, history, culture. It will contribute to understand the current situation of Middle east and Northeast Asia moreover to find common interest on Middle east affairs from Northeast Asia.
Indeed it gives an enormous opportunity to expand Middle East Studies in Mongolia.

I wish you, all participants from abroad, a pleasant stay in Mongolia and happy return to your home with good memories.


Opening speech

Kh.Koken
(First Secretary of Department of Americas, Middle East and Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mongolia)

Mr. Chairman,
Dear Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to take part in the 7th International Conference of the Asian Federation of the Middle East Studies Associations. It is remarkable that this kind of international conference on Middle East studies is being held in Mongolia first time.

As we know the Middle East region possesses a large portion of the world oil reserves and is, as such, one of the main strategic places of oil and fuel supply in the world market. The region witnessed large scale Arab-Israeli wars five times in the 20th Century and the conflict passed to the 21st Century without solution. At present the region faces formidable challenges, such as the Palestine question, democratic changes, war against terrorism, stability in Iraq, Iran's nuclear issue, all of which should be addressed by the joint efforts of both the international community and the parties directly involved.

The region situated between Europe, Asia and African continents is unique by its history, religion, culture and tradition. The vast majority of the Middle East countries are Arab States. By the national peculiarity of their tradition and culture the Arab States are called in some foreign resources as the "Arab World".

Because of those factors the Middle East region has become to attract more of the world's attention and the study of the region by research centers and scholars in many countries of the world is being intensified, particularly last few decades.

Although the Mongolian Association of the Middle East Studies was established not long ago I hope that in cooperation with similar associations of Asian countries it will reach a success in Middle East studies in the future.

Mongolia experiences traditional friendly relations with the states of the Middle East region and intends to expand its cooperation with them in many fields on the basis of mutual interests in the future.

Since 1990-s the bilateral relations between Mongolia and the Middle East States have been on the rise.

The official visits of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait to Mongolia in 1995 and 2007 respectively, and the official visit of His Excellency President of Mongolia to the State of Kuwait in 1998, 2007, to the United Arab Emirates in 2001, 2007, the State of Qatar in 2007, and the State of Israel in 2008 gave a strong impetus to the strengthening the relations between Mongolia and the Middle East states.

The Gulf States invest into several large projects being implemented in Mongolia. For example, by the loan of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development one project for construction of 180 km of paved roads were successfully between two industrial cities of Darhan and Erdenet and another 140 km roads are being paved. By the joint loan of the Kuwait Fund and the Abu Dhabi Fund, the construction of a Hydro Power Plant in Taisher is underway.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Egypt hold consultative meetings on a regular basis. The First Session of the Mongolia-Egypt Intergovernmental Joint Commission was held in 2007. The Egyptian Fund has cooperated with Mongolia since 1998 and over 750 Mongolian officials and specialists took part in more than 70 long and short term training courses offered by the Fund.

Mongolia has close, friendly relations with the State of Israel. Their cooperation in investment projects, economic and agricultural exchanges and environmental protection is on the rise.

In recent years the trade and economic cooperation between Mongolia and the States of the Middle East region has seen an expansion.

We believe that there is a significant potential for the further expansion of trade cooperation in the future.

I would like to end these remarks of mine with my best wishes for all participants of this conference to have more success and thanks for your kind attention.