Joe Biden Takes on Mongolian Wrestlers [PHOTOS]

on August 23 2011 11:22 AM

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia on Monday to a lavish celebration including performances of traditional music and dance and a Mongol-style wrestling competition.

The Mongolian people celebrated the first visit by a U.S. vice president since 1944 and even offered Biden a gift: a Mongolian horse.

The horse is the most important animal in Mongolia, an aide traveling with Biden told reporters. It is the lifeblood of the country, so giving a horse is one of the most meaningful gifts that can be given.

Biden named the horse Celtic, and placed a blue ribbon around its neck - a symbolic display meant to signal importance.

Biden was in Mongolia to enhance economic ties with the nation that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth.

 Mongolia has truly captured the imagination of the world by its remarkable transition to democracy, Biden said in a speech to the Mongolian people. Five elections. Five democratically conducted parliamentary elections. It's truly remarkable the progress you've made since 1991.

After all the speeches and the horse giving-ceremony, Biden took photos with some Mongolian camels, tried his hand at archery and even joked around with the Mongolian wrestlers.

Have a look:

Joe Biden Mongolia (1 of 5)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) reacts with a wrestler before a Mongolian wrestling performance during his meeting with Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold (R) in Ulan Bator August 22, 2011. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden lauded land-locked Mongolia's efforts at democratization on Monday, offering support to a country that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. REUTERS

Joe Biden Mongolia (2 of 5)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) reacts with a wrestler before a Mongolian wrestling performance during his meeting with Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold (R) in Ulan Bator August 22, 2011. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden lauded land-locked Mongolia's efforts at democratization on Monday, offering support to a country that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. REUTERS

Joe Biden Mongolia (3 of 5)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd L) accompanied by Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold (L) pose with camels in Ulan Bator August 22, 2011. Biden lauded land-locked Mongolia's efforts at democratization on Monday, offering support to a country that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. REUTERS

Joe Biden Mongolia (4 of 5)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) tries archery during his meeting with Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold (C) in Ulan Bator August 22, 2011. Biden lauded land-locked Mongolia's efforts at democratization on Monday, offering support to a country that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. REUTERS

Joe Biden Mongolia (5 of 5)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2nd L) tries archery during his meeting with Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold (L) in Ulan Bator August 22, 2011. Biden lauded land-locked Mongolia's efforts at democratization on Monday, offering support to a country that is strategically located between China and Russia and sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth. REUTERS

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