SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. Minister Batbold is here on behalf of his country of Mongolia. There has just been a peaceful transition of power with a new president. We are very committed to supporting the government and people of Mongolia as they seek assistance to develop, as they continue their democratization, and as they reach out to the rest of the world.
As I was telling the minister, I had a memorable trip to Mongolia. I have a great deal of personal interest in the progress that your country is making, and it’s an honor to welcome you here.
FOREIGN MINISTER BATBOLD: Thank you, Madame Secretary. I am delighted to be here in D.C. and to have the opportunity to meet you and other senior officials of your new Administration. And I’m looking forward to our meeting, which I hope will be a good occasion to discuss our bilateral issues and also international issues of our common interest.
Mongolia is determined to deepen and expand our relations with the United States on the basis of comprehensive partnership, based on our shared values and common strategic interests. Indeed, our two countries have excellent relations, and the people of Mongolia, and Mongolia has been always grateful to the continued support of United States to our democratic reforms. Mongolia is – also strives to continue this process, and to promoting and maintaining peace and security in Northeast Asia and Central Asia, and we will continue to work with U.S. and other countries in the region closely.
And thank you, Madame Secretary, for your friendship and continued support to Mongolia, and welcome you to Mongolia and look forward to our fruitful discussions. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much, Minister.
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.
QUESTION: -- is there any progress on freeing the two American journalists from North Korea? Are you any closer to the possibility of sending an envoy?
SECRETARY CLINTON: We are working, as I said yesterday, in every way open to us to persuade the North Korean Government to release the two journalists on a humanitarian basis. And we’re going to continue to pursue every possible avenue. Thank you.
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