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June 5, 2018

Kyrgyzstan greatly values ties with Pakistan, says ambassador


June 5, 2018

Islamabad : Erik Beishembiev Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan has said his country greatly values relations with Pakistan that is why it seeks further diversification and strengthening of these relations.

The Kyrgyz ambassador expressed these views while giving an exclusive interview to DNA.

He further said, the diplomatic relations between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan were established on 10 May 1992.

At the same time Kyrgyz-Pakistani historical relations can be traced back centuries ago. Our peoples have long time and close cultural and spiritual ties.

The founder of the Mogul Empire Babur was born in Fergana valley, which is shared by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

His small prayer mosque on the Kyrgyz mountain Suleiman in Osh city is still preserved and became a popular place for local people and tourists, he added.

“Today our countries enjoy excellent political relations and regularly exchange visits on the highest and high levels.

Since establishment of diplomatic relations, we exchanged presidential visits twice, Pakistani Prime Ministers visited Kyrgyzstan three time, speakers of the Kyrgyzstan parliament visited Pakistan twice and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan paid an official visit to Pakistan once”.

He said, this year in February the Ministries for Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan held first consultations. Despite active political interaction, unfortunately the level of bilateral trade and economic cooperation is currently low and does not correspond to the potential of two countries.

Trade turnover is about only $4 million and Pakistan’s investment to Kyrgyzstan is about $3-5 million.

The main export from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan is meat and dairy products, oil and oil products, raw cow and sheep skin, mechanical and electric equipment, aluminium, jet fuel and others.

The main import to Kyrgyzstan from Pakistan is pharmaceuticals, textile, furniture, sport goods etc. In order to promote trade and economic relations Intergovernmental Kyrgyz-Pakistan commission was established in 1994 which held its third meeting on 11-12 January 2017 in Islamabad, he added.

The ambassador said, cooperation in the field of education is developing more actively. About 1000 Pakistani students are studying in Kyrgyzstan mostly in medical universities.

This year the first Kyrgyz-Pakistani International Institute for medical sciences has started its work in Kyrgyzstan. The legal basis of the bilateral relations includes 35 joint documents signed since establishment of diplomatic relations between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan.

When asked “What are the key areas where both Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan can cooperate the ambassador said Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan enjoy excellent political relations that should be transformed into growing trade and economic relations.”

Both countries are rich in mineral resources, have high skilled human resources, excellent opportunities for developing industry and agriculture, attracting foreign investments for joint production and supply of goods, including for export.

He said, Pakistan has a high demand of power energy for its growing economy. At the same time Kyrgyzstan is rich in water resources which are used for electricity production by a number of hydropower stations. My country is a member of the project CASA-1000, which is aimed at bringing surplus electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hydropower stations in summer times to Pakistan through the territory of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Erik said, Kyrgyzstan is interested in development of short transportation links through its territory between Central Asia and China and Pakistan with access to the Gwadar and Karachi ports using railway and automobile roads, which are being constructed in the framework of CPEC.

Today shortest automobile roads are connecting China to Kyrgyzstan through two border mountain passes in Kyrgyzstan - Torugart in the North and - Erkeshtam in the South, located only about 200 km from Chinese city of Kashgar. The road through Kyrgyz border post Irkestam is the shortest way from Fergana valley, which is shared between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to China.

In October last year Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, launched a test drive of nine trucks, three trucks from each country, through a new international trade route Tashkent-Andijan (Uzbekistan) - Osh - Irkeshtam (Kyrgyzstan) - Kashgar (China).

The Caravan of trucks passed 920 km in 31 hours, from which 16 hours were driving time.

The interest to the new trade route is due to the minimal time for the goods delivery from 2 days to 1 day however, the old rout would take 8-10 days and be more expensive.

This new Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China motto corridor is expected to begin its regular activity in the current year.

Our country is also a member of the Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA) between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan for facilitating transit traffic and trade on the route though high Karakoram road to Karachi port, which unfortunately currently is not working to its full capacity.

The member-countries of the Agreement should intensify negotiations to facilitate the movement of goods through the borders.

Currently, the negotiations on the shortest railway road China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan are in progress. After completion of this project the route from East Asia to Middle East and South Europe will be reduced for almost a thousand km. and goods delivery time - for 7-8 days.

Pakistan is playing a vital role in fighting terrorism and making efforts to preserve peace and stability in the region.

Our country can cooperate with Pakistan on security and military issues, including training of Kyrgyzstan’s security and military officers at Pakistani institutions on counterterrorism, English language and peacekeeping activity.

In recent years higher education is developing very fast in Kyrgyzstan.

He said, his country had only 12 universities before independence in 1991 and now it is 50 from which 31 belong to state and 19 are private. Many international students study in Kyrgyz universities due to high level of education and relatively low prices, including almost 1000 from Pakistan.

Last year Kyrgyz-Pakistani International Institute of medical sciences was established in Kyrgyzstan and first Pakistani students will begin study there in current year.

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