BISHKEK, May 20, 2019 – The official visit of Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov to Kyrgyzstan began with a visit to the Korday border checkpoint. This is representative of the great importance Kazakhstan places on creating favorable conditions for the crossing of state borders by the citizens of both countries.
The Kazakh Foreign Minister was welcomed by Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Chingiz Aidarbekov at the border from the Kyrgyz side. The Foreign Ministers, together with heads of the border services of the two states Darkhan Dilmanov and Ularbek Sharsheev, discussed the current passage of citizens and vehicles at border checkpoints.
The ministers continued the talks in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, covering a wide range of issues related to Kazakh-Kyrgyz relations.
The agenda was comprehensive and allowed the sides to discuss political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, as well as issues on sharing transboundary rivers, water and energy collaboration, and lifting phytosanitary and veterinary control restrictions within the EAEU. The sides stressed their agreement on many issues of the international agenda and noted the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation within the UN, SCO, CSTO, CIS, OIC and other organizations.
Kazakhstan considers Kyrgyzstan not only a good neighbor and important partner, but also a brotherly state. “First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has repeatedly pointed out that for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, sharing the same history, religion, culture and mindset, it's only fair to be together, help each other and ensure the security of the region together,” Mr. Atamkulov said.
“There is zero political discord between our countries. The Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev intends to continue policies to strengthen good neighborly and trust-based relations with Kyrgyzstan,” the Kazakh Foreign Minister added.
Mr. Aidarbekov noted that the Kazakh Foreign Minister's first official visit to Kyrgyzstan was a testimony to the friendly and allied relations between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. “Today, interstate relations are developing dynamically at all levels. Heads of our states meet several times a year. Our ministries and agencies solve the issues that arise between neighboring states. We are ready to look for joint ways to resolve bilateral issues,” the Kyrgyz minister said.
Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EAEU has great potential for enhancing trade, economic and investment cooperation. The sides noted with satisfaction the positive development of mutual trade. The bilateral trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2018 increased by 13.1% and amounted to $865.3 million. The leaders of the two states set the task of increasing the trade volume up to $1 billion by 2020.
To accomplish this task, Kazakh companies are ready to expand their export portfolio in engineering, metallurgy, food industry, construction materials and chemical products. The sides also agreed to maximize the use of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz Business Council to develop mutual trade and direct contacts between economic entities.
Special attention was paid to the Road Map on bilateral economic cooperation, containing 50 actions for the integrated solution of pressing issues.
Kazakhstan is one of Kyrgyzstan's major investment partners. Over $700 million has been invested in Kyrgyzstan since 2005. The Kazakh side emphasized that the active interaction between Kazakh Invest and Kazakh Export would further enhance investment and export cooperation.
Kazakhstan offered to look into the possibility of using satellite communications services through Kazakh satellites KazSat and providing space monitoring of a broad spectrum of activities.
The negotiations also touched on the lifting of temporary quarantine phytosanitary and veterinary restrictions on the import of certain food products from Kyrgyzstan. It was noted that the authorities of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were working closely together in this area.
The Kazakh Foreign Minister noted the upcoming anniversary summit of the Eurasian Economic Union, to be held on May 29 in Nur-Sultan. The Kyrgyz side confirmed Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov's participation in this summit.
The interaction within international organizations and associations was also discussed, in particular the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ), and the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC) in countering illicit drug trafficking and the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS).
Following the talks, the Intergovernmental protocol on activities of border checkpoints as well as the Program of Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic for 2019-2020 were signed.
During his visit, the head of the Kazakh delegation visited the Chingiz Aitmatov House-Museum and laid flowers at the monument to the great Kyrgyz writer.
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan's close humanitarian ties have a long history, with much work continuing to be done in this area. In 2018, the 90th anniversary of Mr. Aitmatov was widely celebrated, with the renaming of the street, and an international forum was held in honor of his anniversary in Nur-Sultan. At present, a monument to Mr. Aitmatov is being erected in the capital of Kazakhstan.
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