Macron makes first French presidential visit to Mongolia

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Emmanuel Macron on Sunday made a brief but symbolic visit to Mongolia, the first by a French president to the country nestled between China and Russia that is of growing strategic interest in the West.

The French head of state was greeted by a traditional Mongolian guard of honour after landing in the capital Ulaanbaatar following the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

Macron then attended a reception at Sukhbaatar Square, which contains a large statue of Mongolian revolutionary hero Damdin Sukhbaatar and a monument to Genghis Khan.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was the star guest at the G7, where he addressed Western allies and leaders of non-aligned nations like Brazil and India.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, France has stepped up diplomacy with countries that have not explicitly condemned it -- of which Mongolia is one.

In Ulaanbaatar, Macron attended a state dinner at the museum of Genghis Khan, named for the 13th-century Mongol conqueror.

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