Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan are set to enhance relations and expand cooperation across several areas, the Kyrgyz foreign minister has said.
“Talks with HRH the Crown prince and Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were highly successful,” Jeenbek Kulubaev said.
“There was full understanding and we had agreements all the way. Both our countries are committed to boosting relations and to boosting the exchange of visits at the highest levels,” the minister told Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
Kulubaev on his first visit to the Kingdom said he was “very impressed” by what he saw in Bahrain, its success and achievements.
“We would like to take a closer look at your experience. Your leadership attaches great importance to the economic development of your country, which is very important in the modern world. Your country plays an important role in regional security issues, and Bahrainis are known for their hospitality, sincerity and love for people from all over the world. Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank the Government of Bahrain for their gracious hospitality and to wish the friendly country further development, peace, and prosperity to the fraternal people of Bahrain.”
During his visit, he held high-level meetings and discussed topical issues aimed to strengthen consultations between the two countries, and develop cooperation in trade, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres, Kulubaev said.
MoUs on exempting holders of diplomatic, service and special passports from visa requirements and on political consultation between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.
High-level visits to both capitals will lead to the signing of further agreements, Kulubaev added.
“Today, Kyrgyz-Bahraini relations are at the initial stage of their development, but they are showing great interest in developing mutual cooperation. We actively hold our meetings at various international venues. Our countries are actively cooperating within the framework of international organizations, in particular the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
Nevertheless, more active political dialogue and bilateral events should be conducted in order to bring relations to a qualitatively new level through the exchange of mutual visits at the highest and high levels, he said.
The Kyrgyz official said that launching direct flights between Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan would be a milestone in boosting cooperation and easing travel.
Setting up a joint committee to help enhance and deepen relations and cooperation and a Business Council to explore together opportunities for investments will also be highly significant, he said.
“We have such convergent ideas that we can work together on a number of opportunities. For example, as Kyrgyzstan is full of water, we can work on carbohydrate stations that can be small, medium or large. The potential is vast and it should be explored thoroughly. It could assist in ways to deal with combat change especially that Kyrgyzstan is working on building green economy.”
Another major opportunity is related to metals since Kyrgyzstan country has great mining potential and there are great opportunities to develop the sector, he added.
Moving forward with opportunities for both sides, he said that they could also look into ventures in Kyrgyzstan’s agriculture sector with its natural produce that can be exported abroad.
“Tourism represents another highly interesting opportunity. Again, the potential is immense and it can be tapped with great optimism. Kyrgyzstan has things to offer to all. In summer, there is summer tourism, ecotourism, trekking … In winter, there is skiing, for example,” he said.
Bahrainis are most welcome to visit Kyrgyzstan and enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the country.
“I would like to stress that for citizens of the Gulf countries in Kyrgyzstan there is a visa-free regime for up to 60 days, so welcome to visit us.”
According to Kyrgyzstan’s State Border Service, 816 tourists from Bahrain arrived in Kyrgyzstan in 2021.
On the political front, Kyrgyzstan is particularly keen on regional cooperation, he said.
“In Central Asia, we have the Central Asian Countries bloc made up of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Besides, our country is in a strategic location, linking China with Europe, China with Russia. We pay special attention to security and stability and we therefore seek to reinforce relations with other countries,” he said.
“We have regular consultations to address regional issues, and we are naturally keen on closer ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). We are keen on sharing views, as the GCC is very important. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I met with the GCC Secretary General and discussed his visit to Central Asia. We will sign an MoU with the GCC Secretariat General.”
Muslim countries in Central Asia are keen on closer relations with Arab countries and they can work together on issues addressed by international institutions, he said.
The minister said that parliaments have a significant role in promoting international relations through parliamentary diplomacy.
“In Kyrgyzstan, the parliament is very important. It monitors the government and enacts laws for reforms. During the meeting with Speaker Fawzia Zainal, we discussed how parliaments bring countries together and we agreed on exchanging visits by lawmakers. The Speaker welcomed our suggestion to form a Friendship Group. Together, we emphasized the importance of cooperation between the competent parliamentary committees in bridging gaps and helping to bring countries closer.”
Kulubaev said that culture could be used as a vehicle to promote understanding and cooperation between countries.
“When I visited the Bahrain National Museum, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan shared many traits and features related to everyday life, education …,” he said.
“During my meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I briefed him on the Nomad Games and I suggested that Bahrain play an active role that will help people appreciate one another’s culture and bring them together. We are an open society and we love openness and democracy. We are always ready to welcome Bahrainis because we do understand one another. When we are close, we can think only of a bright future ahead.”
Kyrgyzstan, with a population of 6.7 million people, is a mountainous country in Central Asia, with a large number of natural parks, snowy peaks, picturesque lakes and rivers, glaciers and historical and ethno-cultural sights.
Kyrgyzstan is a multinational state, but the main population is Kyrgyz, one of the most ancient people of Eurasia. The people are famous for their openness, hospitality and friendly character.
A former part of the Soviet Union, it declared its independence in 1991 and embarked on the path of independent development.