ULAN BATOR, MONGOLIA, AUG. 3 -- The United States is offering Mongolia $1.1 million and special trade status to help transform its economy into a Western-style, free-market system, Secretary of State James A. Baker III said today.
Baker said at a news conference that U.S. officials "pulled together a package of monetary measures with a value of about $1.1 million" on very short notice after ascertaining that Mongolia's first free elections, which were concluded Sunday, had been "free and fair."
Baker said the United States also would like to grant Mongolia most-favored-nation trade status, entitling it to the lowest U.S. tariffs.
The two nations agreed in principle Thursday to give each other the preferential status. Baker said the United States was analyzing Mongolia's emigration practices and would finalize the agreement when satisfied. U.S. law requires a country to allow free emigration to receive most-favored-nation status.
Baker spoke just before cutting short his visit to this Communist country and leaving for Moscow, where he and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze issued a joint statement on Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
Baker completed the official portion of his trip, a sign of the United States' interest in promoting ties with Mongolia, a longtime Soviet satellite and trading partner.
Mongolia, which has been ruled by the Communist Party for nearly seven decades, held its first multi-party elections Sunday. The Communists easily retained control of the country, but five new non-communist parties established a presence in the legislature.
A weary-looking Baker, who told reporters he had gotten little sleep because of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait a day earlier, met this morning with leaders of Mongolian opposition parties. "They spoke of the tradition of unity that exists in Mongolia. I congratulated them as I have the government on the peaceful transition to democracy that has taken place in Mongolia," he said.
The moves toward democracy began with street protests in the winter and spring that forced the Communist Party to overhaul its leadership and give up its constitutional guarantee of power. Mongolia also plans to experiment with free-market reform, including freeing prices from central control and encouraging private enterprise.