Visit Increases Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Cooperation

BISHKEK – Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov paid an official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic, July 15-16, where he was received by President Almazbek Atambayev and interacted with his counterpart.

Idrissovbegan the conversation, held in the similar Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages, by conveying the best wishes of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the leader of the neighboring state and the brotherly Kyrgyz people.

The parties discussed topical international and bilateral issues and stressed the importance of joint efforts to maintain regional stability and security. They also reviewed the process of Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union and intensification of Kazakh-Kyrgyz trade and economic cooperation.

Atambayev outlined the prospects for further development of his country and also praised the visionary leadership of Nazarbayev, which has ensured a progressive increase in Kazakhstan’s socio-economic performance and living standards. Atambayev said he expects a fruitful visit and talks with his Kazakh counterpart this November in Astana.

In his turn,Idrissov informed the Kyrgyz President on the priorities of the political and socio-economic development of his country in accordance with the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. He stressed that Kazakhstan was interested in sustainable development of all countries of the region and intended to continue its efforts to achieve this goal.

Idrissov’s visit began on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, known as Kyrgyzstan’s prized tourist destination favoured by guests from Kazakhstan and Central Asia, as well as Russia.

There he met withhis Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdyldayev to discuss Kazakh-Kyrgyz bilateral cooperation, regional cooperation and international issues. The setting clearly impacted the atmosphere of the talks, which were “frank, kind and truly fraternal,” according to a Facebook post by the Kazakh foreign ministry.

During the meeting, the state and prospects of Kazakh-Kyrgyz bilateral cooperation, current issues of regional cooperation and international agenda were discussed.

“We have a historical connection and there is a feeling of the friendly shoulder between our countries. We have one past and a common future ahead waiting for us,” said Idrissov.

“Kazakhstan has resolved its border issues with its neighbours, yet there are border problems among other countries in Central Asia and this cannot but cause concern,” he added in an apparent reference to periodic clashes in recent months between the Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards with the use of light weaponry and even mortars.

The discussion in Cholpon-Ata meanwhile centered on prospects of expanding bilateral cooperation in trade, economic, investment and agricultural areas, as well as in the water-energy sector.

“There is significant potential for economic cooperation between our countries. We need to deepen our trade and economic relations and actively encourage the expansion of mutual trade,” Idrissov added.

“We would like to develop regional cooperation and believe that in this area all countries have to do much more,” Idrissov said. “Take, for example, intra-regional trade — it makes up only 5 percent of our countries’ external trade.”

“We, too, would like to achieve the expansion of trade, which had already exceeded $1 billion in the past,” noted Abdyldayev, adding that Bishkek would like to see the revival of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz Investment Fund.

The foreign ministers expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations and expressed hope for further fruitful cooperation between the two countries.

An important outcome of the negotiations was the signing of the programme of cooperation between the Kazakh and Kyrgyz Ministries of Foreign Affairs for 2014-2015, which would strengthen the political dialogue between the two countries.

“Kazakhstan is interested in a successful and progressive development of Kyrgyzstan and our other neighbours. Our country will be able to achieve the goals of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy only in close cooperation with partners in Central Asia and the stable development of the region,” Idrissov said.

“Many thanks for the two wo schools that are being built by Kazakhstan in Bishkek and Osh cities. It is one of the very important aspects that strengthens our friendship,” Abdyldayev noted.

Another development, which will contribute to the friendship, will be the naming of an avenue in Astana in honour of Chingiz Aitmatov, the late, famous Kyrgyz writer, and the installation of a monument to Manas, the Kyrgyz epic hero, as well as the naming of one of the city streets as Shokan Valikhanov and erection of a monument to Abai.

The Kyrgyz minister also invited Kazakhstan’s sportsmen to participate in the Nomadic Games, which will be held September 8-14 in Cholpon-Ata.

Relations with Kyrgyzstan have seen increased attention from Kazakhstan, as just a few days prior, on July 12, Prime Minister Karim Massimov visited the city to discuss pressing issues on the agenda relating to mutual trade and travel.

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