I am very glad to share that the fruitful cooperation in every area between our two countries is expanding

E. Mr. Dashjamts Batsaikhan handed out his credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia in the Republic of Bulgaria, in May 2017. At the same time, he was also Ambassador of Mongoliain Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Moldova.

He was born in 1965 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In 1989, he graduated from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MSIIR), then the Vienna Diplomatic Academy. He has hade postgraduate studies in the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii, USA, in the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, as well as in the Republic of Turkey.

His professional career started in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, where he held various positions in the Diplomatic Protocol Directorate, Political Relations Directorate, Directorate of Europe, Directorate of Africa and the Arab States. He has worked in several diplomatic missions of Mongolia abroad in Sofia, Ankara and Kuwait. Before coming to Bulgaria as Ambassador, he was the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

E. Mr. Dashjamts Batsaikhan speaks Bulgarian, English and Russian. He is married, with three children.

- Your Excellency, what is the level of the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Mongolia at this moment?

- I am very pleased that our friendly relations are deepening and the fruitful cooperation in every area between our two countries is expanding. During the recent years, a number of important visits have been made and negotiations have taken place at high and other levels. On the occasion of celebrating the 65thAnniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Republic of Bulgaria in 2015, the Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev visited Mongolia. During this official visit, successful talks have been held and have been signed agreements and documents of great importance for further activation of the relations between our two countries. Parliamentary Friendship Groups are working in both Parliaments.

I think that the Intergovernmental Committee and its regular sessions are playing a very important role in the development and expansion of commercial, economic, scientific and technological cooperation. Last year, the 6th session of the Committee took place in Sofia and during this meeting specific issues have been discussed in order to intensify the mutual trade, the sales turnover and investments of mutual interest. According to the 6th Session Minutes, we are studying the possibilities of setting up joint enterprises for the production of meat and dairy products in line with the European Union standards, as well as joint projects for greenhouses in Mongolia with the participation of the respective agricultural institutes of both countries.

The Embassy is actively cooperating with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the representatives of the Bulgarian state and private companies, in order to establish direct contacts between businessmen and exchange of information on new legislation and regulations in the field of trade and economic activities. The next session is scheduled to be held in 2018 in Ulaanbataar. The Minister of Public Health is the President of the Mongolian side of the Intergovernmental Committee and respectively, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is the President of the Bulgarian side. Both countries have good traditions and great opportunities for cooperation in such areas as agriculture, food, geology, public health and tourism. In my position of Ambassador, I will be working very actively for further deepening the comprehensive cooperation between both countries.

- What is our cooperation in the field of education and culture? Is there any interest in Mongol youth to receive higher education in our country?

- Both countries have a traditional cooperation in the field of culture, education and science, with good foundations and opportunities for its development. The first Mongol students began studying in Bulgaria in 1957 and since then hundreds of our youngsters have completed their university education here. I would like to express my gratitude to the Bulgarian side for the Mongol students having the possibility to continue to study in the higher education institutions of Bulgaria even today.

Last year, an agreement was signed between our two governments on cooperation in the field of culture, education and science for the period of 2017-2021. We also support direct bilateral cooperation between museums, theaters, cultural institutions and creative teams of both countries. I am glad to see the great interest in Mongolian history and culture in Bulgaria and I have met a lot of Bulgarians who know a lot about our country. In recent years, with the assistance of the Embassy, Secret History of the Mongols, Mongolian Fairy Tales and other books by Mongolian authors have been translated into Bulgarian.

- Your country is rich in minerals. Recently there has been an increased investment interest from abroad. How are things going on in the field of investments and what are the frameworks that the Mongol legislation puts in for them?

- After the Parliament adopted the Foreign Investment Act, the foreign investments in all spheres of the country's economy increased sharply; for example in trade, infrastructure, geology, mining, etc. Mongolia is rich in minerals, mainly mined coals, copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, and others. Foreign partners are willing to invest in the desired spheres. Today Mongolia through its legislation is a country open and conducive to investments. There have been also signed the Double Taxation Elimination Convention, agreements on commercial and economic development and other bilateral agreements with many other countries.

Besides the natural resources, you may know that Mongolia, with a population of 3 million inhabitants, has a total of over 70 million head of cattle - sheep, goats, cows, horses and camels.

- What is the connection with the Mongolian National Holiday - Naadam? How do the Mongols celebrate it?

- On 11th of July, the Mongolians celebrate their National Day, Naadam. It is a traditional folk festival celebrated all over the country. The word "naadam" translated from Mongolian means "celebration" or "playgrounds". During the Naadam the "three male games" are to be held - traditional sports competitions: wrestling, archery and horse racing, as well as many other cultural festive events. Every municipality and city celebrates their Naadam, but the main event is held in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, where many participants and foreign guests are gathering.

I would like to say a few words about "the three male games". There are 512 or 1024 fighters in Naadam. The Mongol national wrestling has its own features: the loser leaves the competition and there are no weight categories, there is neither time nor space limitations, as well. Horse racing is very revered by the Mongols. In this sport children from 4 to 12 years of age compete and the distance should be from 12 to 32 km, depending on the age of the horses. Mongolian races have a tradition of over a thousand years. Archery is conducted in two age groups: children aged from 8 to 17 and adults.

- They say the beauty of nature stops you from breathing - from the Gorkhi-Terelj National Parknear Ulaanbaatar, through the Gobi Desert to Altai Mountains, everything is wonderful. How much of it and how can the tourists touch it?

- Mongolia is a country with spacious steppes, deserts, high mountains, large rivers and lakes. There is a very rich animal world. In the Gobi Desert you can see wild camels, as well as a real dinosaur cemetery.

The government has approved Mongolia - Nomadic by Nature Programme and is taking necessary measures to develop national parks and tourism in the country. Many tourists are impressed not only by our nature but also by the history, traditions, customs, culture and way of living that our people have. Both sunny Bulgaria and sunny Mongolia are attracting more tourists from year to year. According to statistics, almost half of the tourists visiting our country come from Europe, including Bulgaria, of course. The number of Mongolian tourists who want to travel to Bulgaria is increasing, especially being attracted by the resorts and beaches of the Black Sea - Varna, Bourgas, Golden Sands, Pomorie, etc.

- Please, tell us more about Mongolia's music - the famous Mongolian throat singing...

- The throat singing (Khoomei in Mongolian), is a unique type of art inherent only for some Altai-Sayan Region areas inhabitants –Mongolians and Altai. The uniqueness of this art consists of the fact that the performer draws together two music notes, thus forming a kind of two-headed solo. The style of the Khoomei is acoustically associated with heavy, low, buzzing sound at extremely low frequencies. Typically, the sound in the style of the Khoomei is considered more important than the poetic text. The singing technique has an unusual articulation in the sip and a throat characteristic of traditional (especially cult) music. Talented singers, as well as storytellers, were the guards of folk music and poetry; people respected by all social strata and population groups. In 2010, the Mongolian throat singing received UNESCO's World Heritage status.

- Two years ago in the capital Ulan Bator a monument of the Cyrillic alphabet was made in the presence of the then Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev. How does the alphabet connect us-the European Bulgaria and Mongolia from the center of Asia?

- The Old-Mongolian alphabet was born many centuries ago, and the epigraphic monuments date back to the early 13thcentury. Since then, the Mongols have used different systems of writing, some of which have been adapted to other languages. Mongolian Cyrillic - our Cyrillic alphabet has been adopted in Mongolia in 1941. Based on that, the Mongols are getting closer to the people of the Cyrillic countries, acquainted with the rich history and culture of the European countries, including Bulgaria. Therefore, during the visit of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria to Mongolia in 2015, a Cyrillic Alphabet Monument was opened in Ulaanbaatar.

- You knew our country, you have already been here before starting work in the Embassy. You speak excellently Bulgarian, your wife - Mrs. Tuyaa, too. What links your family so strongly with Bulgaria? What are your impressions now - already as an ambassador?

- With my wife we ​​feel happy to be again in Bulgaria, a nice country where we were always welcomed with warmth and affection. For the first time I came here in 1988, for an internship while I was a student at MSIIR. Later on, I worked at the Embassy in Sofia, so this is my third term in your country.

Yes, indeed, my family is very connected to Bulgaria. Here I met my wife while she was a student at the Medical Academy in Sofia. Here was born our younger son - Angar. Our daughter studied at the 9thFrench Language School "Alfonse de Lamartine", after that she continued her education in Paris and in the Institute of Foreign Languages ​​in Ulaanbaatar. Our two sons graduated from the Russian School in Sofia. The eldest - Tamir, later on graduated in English Philology from the Ankara University, and the younger - Angar, is now doing a Japanese Philology Master's Degree in Tokyo. We are pleased that the children are doing well. My family and myself we all love Bulgaria very much.

Your country has a very ancient history and an extraordinary cultural heritage, endowed with beautiful natural landscapes. And people are very hospitable and welcoming. I have traveled a lot in Bulgaria with my family. We love Veliko Tarnovo, Stara Zagora, the Rila Monastery, Bansko, Primorsko... And your mountains are very beautiful - the Rhodopes and the Vitosha Mountain.

Finally, I would like to thank the "Diplomatic Spectrum" team for the interest shown and the attention paid to my country. I wish all the best to your readers.

The photo is provided by the Embassy of Mongolia in the Republic of Bulgaria.