On November 23, Ambassador Tundevdorj Zalaa-Uul, 53, presented his Letters of Credence to Her Excellency, the Right Honorable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada , at Rideau Hall in Ottawa , the official residence of Canadian Governors General.
Ambassador Zalaa-Uul is a career Foreign Ministry officer. Prior to his current post, he was Counselor of the Department of the Americas , Middle East and Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ulaanbaatar . Previously, he served two tours in Romania , one as Charge d’Affaires, and as Counselor at the Mongolian Embassy to India , in addition to other senior appointments within the Foreign Ministry.
He is a graduate of the University of Bucharest and the University of Political Science in Ulaanbaatar , and also completed higher courses at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow , the Institute of International Relations in Cairo , Victoria University in Wellington , NZ, and the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies in Newport , Rhode Island , USA . Ambassador Zalaa-Uul is the author of two books and has been decorated with the Mongolian Order of the Polar Star and the Order of Freedom. He is married with six children and speaks English, Russian and Romanian in addition to Mongolian.
In her remarks welcoming Ambassador Zalaa-Uul, Governor General Jean said as follows:
Ambassador Zalaa-uul, I know that you are familiar with a cold climate. Indeed, Ulaanbaatar , the capital of Mongolia , is reputed to be one of the few national capitals that is colder than Ottawa !
Of course there are many similarities between our two countries, in addition to the cold climate. We also enjoy vast landscapes, we have small populations, large and powerful neighbours, abundant natural resources, and outward-looking governments.
Excellency, as you know, Canada is the largest investor in Mongolia’s resource sector, and the second-largest overall, after China . Given that strong relationship, it is perhaps understandable that Mongolia ’s Prime Minister Batbold is, to some extent, looking to Canada as a model for development. I am sure both our countries can find effective ways, within our means, to foster greater cooperation.
In addition to our commercial relationship, Canada and Mongolia are also working together to further the cause of peace and security. Canada has provided support for Mongolia ’s involvement in international peacekeeping through our Military Training Assistance Program. Canada also appreciates Mongolia ’s contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan ’s armed forces.