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New Mongolian president promises pragmatic diplomacy

Former sumo champion eyed for advisory post after vital role in victory

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New Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa delivered his inaugural address to the legislature Monday.   © Reuters

ULAANBAATAR -- Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa's inaugural address Monday suggested a practical approach to foreign affairs, an area where the new leader could be aided by a former sumo grand champion whose name has surfaced as a potential adviser.

Speaking before the Mongolian legislature dressed in a traditional deel, Battulga, a member of the leading opposition Democratic Party, said he intends to maintain friendly relations with China and Russia while building ties with "third neighbors" like Japan and the U.S. He had struck a more nationalistic tone during the election, calling for an end to Mongolia's dependence on China.

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