Relations between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan have reached level of strategic partnership - Sadyr Zhaparov's INTERVIEW with APA

Relations between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan have reached level of strategic partnership - Sadyr Zhaparov
# 02 May 2024 09:43 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan-based APA News Agency interviewed Sadyr Zhaparov, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic

- Mr. President, as is known, in January of this year, the 31st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan was completed, and in 1997, an agreement was reached on the attraction of mutual investments in various areas of the economy. If we summarize the results of the past period, how can we evaluate the current level of our relations?

- Yes, on January 19, 31 years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. Since ancient times, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan have been united by the factors of common history, culture, and language, as well as the friendship and brotherhood between the Kyrgyz and Azerbaijani peoples. During the period of independence, the existing cooperation of our countries in all fields has further developed and reached the level of strategic partnership. This cooperation was further strengthened by the signing of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan on April 20, 2022. It should be especially noted that during my visit to brotherly Azerbaijan, we took another important step with President Ilham Heyda, established deeper strategic partnership relations between our countries, and signed a corresponding joint declaration. We pay special attention to the further development and expansion of mutual commercial and economic cooperation in Kyrgyzstan-Azerbaijan relations. At the same time, the greatest activity is observed here in investment exchange. I would especially like to note the start of the activity of the Azerbaijan-Kyrgyz Development Fund established in October 2022. I am sure that the fund will serve the prosperity of the people of the two brotherly countries through the financing of priority and mutually beneficial projects. Regarding the context of cooperation in the field of investment, I would like to mention here the decision of the parties to attract investment from Azerbaijan for the construction of a five-star hotel in the Kyrgyz Republic, around Lake Issyk-Kul. I am sure that the construction of the hotel will be an example of cooperation between our countries in the field of investment, and after that, the implementation of other investment projects will begin.

- Before your last visit, you visited last November. During that visit, negotiations were held with President Ilham Aliyev, and at the same time, meetings were held at various levels. In your opinion, what are the prospects for the further development of interstate relations, both from a political and an economic point of view?

- Yes, I came to Baku on a working visit to participate in the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) Summit held in Baku in November of last year, where I held talks with the President of Azerbaijan, honorable Ilham Aliyev. At that time, we discussed the current issues of cooperation in the bilateral political, commercial-economic, and cultural-humanitarian spheres and the further prospects of expanding the partnership between the Kyrgyz Republic and Azerbaijan. At the same time, we held discussions on increasing the mutual trade turnover between our countries. I must say that its current level is not what we want, that is, it does not meet the existing potential. In this context, it is important to note the role of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic and Humanitarian Cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan in the development of commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries. To ensure effective commercial and economic cooperation, the relevant ministries of both countries have prepared a wide Cooperation Program covering the period up to 2029. This program includes the increase of trade turnover and the development of transport communications, as well as the expansion of cooperation in financial banking, cultural-humanitarian, and other fields.

- In recent years, Azerbaijan has taken numerous steps to develop the military industry. Even during the Second Garabagh War, locally produced military products were actively used in military operations. Considering these facts, in which directions the Republic of Kyrgyzstan is keen to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of military industry?

- Traditionally, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan cooperate in the direction of training military personnel based on profile educational institutions. The Parties are also keen to cooperate in the field of military-technical from now on. For this reason, it is extremely vital to perfect the legal basis of this aspect of the partnership.

- Azerbaijan is an active participant in the global political processes. Furthermore, Azerbaijan is rich in various mineral resources. Which prospects exist for cooperation in the field of energy between our countries?

- We are very happy that Brother Azerbaijan got the right to hold the 29th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a prestigious global event, in November of 2024. Azerbaijan has great experience in organizing huge events, and I do not doubt that the conference will be held at the highest level. At the same time, Azerbaijan has rich experience in the field of the oil and gas industry. Taking into account the importance of the development of bilateral relations and the prospects for the realization of investment projects in the field of energy, we are interested in reconsidering the intersection points of cooperation in the field of oil and gas and energy.

- Currently, in the modern world, attention is paid to expanding the use of alternative energy resources. Does the Kyrgyz Republic have potential in this area? If we take into account that natural energy resources may be exhausted, then the states face the issue of developing relations in science, education, high technologies, agriculture, exchange with human capital, and other fields: How are interstate relations developing in these fields?

- As you know, Kyrgyzstan has significant potential in the field of hydropower. Meanwhile, our countries can cooperate in the design, modernization, and construction of hydroelectric, as well as solar, and wind power plants, as well as in the fields of "green economy" and renewable energy sources.

- There are different opinions in the direction of making more efforts for the unification of Turkic-speaking states. What contribution can the Kyrgyz Republic make to the successful progress of such initiatives?

- We actively cooperate in the framework of international organizations. Here I would like to mention the Organization of Turkic States in particular. We are interested and ready to develop cooperation within the framework of the Turkic community. In July of this year, an informal summit of heads of state of member countries of the Organization of Turkic States will be held in Shusha, Azerbaijan. The next summit will be held in Kyrgyzstan in autumn. I am sure that as a result of these events, both Kyrgyzstan and other participating states will have the opportunity to advance their initiatives in the direction of Turkic integration, as well as strengthen cooperation in the fields of commercial, economic, and investment.

- Mr. President, how do you evaluate the participation of the Azerbaijani diaspora in the social and political life of Kyrgyzstan?

- About 20,000 Azerbaijanis live in multi-ethnic Kyrgyzstan. Of course, they were involved in the social and political life of Kyrgyzstan, like representatives of other nations. They are also engaged in cultural-humanitarian and entrepreneurial activities. The AZƏRİ Public Association belonging to Azerbaijanis living in our country operates under the People's Assembly of Kyrgyzstan. I am sure that the activities of the public associations within the Assembly will serve the inter-ethnic unity, peace, and solidarity of the Kyrgyz people.

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