By Reaven D’Souza
Executive Managing Editor
In an exclusive interview with The Times Kuwait last week, the Ambassador of Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Azamat Karagulov, spoke at length about his country’s robust relations with Kuwait in the diplomatic field, and his plans to further elevate these ties to higher level in all domains.
“As you know, the State of Kuwait recognized the independence of the Kyrgyz Republic on 26 December1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 14 December 1994 in Moscow. The Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to Kuwait opened in July 2013.
“Since 21 May 2021, I have been the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic to the State of Kuwait.. Since January 2023, the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Kuwait to the Kyrgyz Republic has been held by H.E. Omar Murad Al-Kandari, who presented his credentials on 7 July 2023 in Bishkek, the capital of our country.”.
Expanding on his country’s economic ties with Kuwait, the ambassador said: “Last year, from 6 to 8 March, the Third meeting of the Kyrgyz-Kuwaiti Intergovernmental Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation was held in Kuwait with the participation of the Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. As a result of the meeting, a protocol and program of activities in the field of culture was signed between the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic and the General Secretariat of the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Literature of the State of Kuwait for the 2023-2025 period.
“As part of this meeting, bilateral meetings were organized with the heads of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (KCCI), and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), during which several important projects were discussed and agreements were reached.
“The volume of trade between Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait in 2023 reached over USD3.6 million, of which exports from Kyrgyzstan amounted to $3.5 million. In addition, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development is the main bridge, creating economic ties between the two countries, through which many major projects are being implemented.”
Turning to tourism in Kyrgyzstan and its potential to attract more tourists from Kuwait, the envoy noted: “Kyrgyzstan has unique travel and recreation sites for tourists. International tourism experts note the amazing combination of cultural and natural heritage in the country. Kyrgyzstan is a high-mountainous country, more than 90 percent of the territory is at an altitude of more than 1000 m above sea level. Some of the highest mountain peaks in the country include Pobeda Peak (7439 m) and Lenin Peak (7134 m), and others.
“The majestic silence of the snowy ridges in the mountains, shady forests of slender Tien Shan spruces, foamy waterfalls, numerous crystal-clear alpine lakes, colorful green landscapes, including the Suusamyr Valley, with yurts, herds of horses, numerous species of flora and fauna attract numerous tourists to Kyrgyzstan.
“One of the most famous and popular resorts is Lake Issyk-Kul, which means ‘warm lake’. Even though the lake is located high in the mountains, it never freezes; the water temperature in summer reaches +24 degrees Celsius. The entire coast of the lake is surrounded by sandy beaches, which along with; the crystal-clear surface of the reservoir, and the cool mountain air, creates a unique microclimate, as close as possible to the sea. It should also be noted that near the lake coast there are many hot mineral springs and healing mud spas. In addition, now there are daily direct flights from Kuwait to two main cities of Kyrgyzstan, by Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways”.
“On the cultural front, our relations with Kuwait have been boosted within the framework of the third meeting of the Kyrgyz-Kuwaiti Intergovernmental Joint Commission on economic and technical cooperation held in Kuwait on 6-8,March 2023. During the meeting the Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic also signed a program of cultural events for 2023-2025 between the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic and The General Secretariat of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature of the State of Kuwait. In addition to this, several business trips by leading investment companies in Kuwait to Kyrgyzstan were also organized.”
Asked about his experience in Kuwait and his thoughts about this country, Ambassador Karagulov said: “Since 21 May, 2021, I have been serving as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic to the State of Kuwait. This is the first time in my career that I am working as an ambassador. In terms of working trips, I am in Kuwait for the second time. For me, the State of Kuwait is a country with a very high culture and a stable economy. I am always impressed by the generosity, hospitality, and especially the high culture of the country’s people.
Elaborating on his plans to further strengthen relations between Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait in 2024 in various domains, the ambassador revealed: “In 2024, a visit by an investment delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al Sabah is expected to visit Kyrgyzstan. Also in 2024, in collaboration with the National Council of Culture, Arts and Literature of the State of Kuwait, a ‘Kyrgyzstan Culture Week in Kuwait’ is planned to be held.
“Apart from this, in 2024, we plan to organize an exhibition of Kyrgyz eco-products in Kuwait, as well as hold a reception on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic. We will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kyrgyz Republic and the State of Kuwait in 2024.”
Concluding the interview, Ambassador Karagulov expressed his hope that relations between the two countries would witness further growth in the years ahead. He added, “We are also proud of our humanitarian cooperation with Kuwait, which is a recognized Center for Humanitarian Diplomacy by the United Nations and the international community.
“Through the Government of Kuwait and leading Kuwaiti charitable organizations such as ‘As-Salam’, ‘As-Safa’ and others, projects in the social sphere worth $20 million were implemented in Kyrgyzstan in 2023. In this regard, this interview is a great opportunity for me to express my deep gratitude to the leadership and friendly people of Kuwait, and also wish them further prosperity and development”.