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India and Kyrgyzstan on January 29 vowed to jointly combat the scourge of terrorism and collaborate on its elimination, while also stepping up ties in key fields such as defense, development partnership and trade. The two countries also reviewed their cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the UN during talks between Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Chingiz Aidarbekov and Foreign Minister of India Sushma Swaraj.

The two ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. Noting the close cultural and historical ties between India and Kyrgyzstan and reiterating the importance the two countries attach to their bilateral relationship, they agreed to expand India-Kyrgyz cooperation in a number of areas, particularly in the field of development partnership.

During the meeting, Aidarbekov briefed Swaraj on Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to liberalize its economy, create business friendly conditions and attract foreign investment including that from Indian companies. Giving an overview of new infrastructure projects in Kyrgyzstan, including in the fields of railways and hydro-electricity, Aidarbekov invited India to participate in such projects. Noting that more than 9,000 Indian students studying in various Kyrgyz educational institutions, it was acknowledged that there was potential to enhance cooperation in the field of education by encouraging collaboration between universities of both the countries.

Defense cooperation, capacity building, training, IT and e-governance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, tourism, movie production and culture were also discussed during the meeting.

Both ministers hailed the initiative of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at the level of foreign ministers with the participation of Afghanistan which was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from January 12-13, as creating a platform for region-wide cooperation which would bring benefits to all the participating countries in terms of enhanced trade and economic cooperation and connectivity. Aidarbekov said that he was looking forward to participating in the next edition of the Dialogue which would be hosted by India in 2020.

Sushma Swaraj conveyed her support to Kyrgyzstan in its work as the SCO Chair this year and for the success of the SCO Summit which the Kyrgyz Republic will host in June.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Minister reiterated the invitation extended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for participation in the SCO Summit and paying a bilateral visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. He also invited Swaraj to visit Kyrgyzstan. She had visited Kyrgyzstan in August 2018.

Earlier, Aidarbekov called on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and also met the Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla.

© 2019 Embassy of Kyrgyz Republic in New Delhi, India