05/31/2023, 09.29
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The renewed friendship between Bishkek and Ulan Bator

by Vladimir Rozanskij

After ten years (and old grudges), the foreign ministers of the two countries have met again to lay the foundations for eocnomic cooperation. Alongside trade exchanges, programmes for direct air routes and the abolition of entry visas are also planned.

Bishkek (AsiaNews) - After ten years without meeting, also due to ancient and recent grudges that have never been completely put to rest, the foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan, Zheenbek Kulubaev, met with his counterpart from Mongolia, Batsetseg Batmonkh, to officially discuss joint projects between the two countries, where the Turkish-Mongolian souls of Central Asia meet, as reported by the Middle Asian News agency.

The talks took place in a very friendly and fruitful atmosphere, in which the parties assessed the current conditions of Mongolian-Kyrgyz relations and looked for ways to revive cooperation at the national and regional level.

Batsetseg emphasised that, albeit in alternating phases, relations have developed very positively over the past 30 years since the end of the USSR, between two landlocked countries with different peoples, divided by the Chinese corridor of Xinjiang Uyghur.

Kulubaev expressed his thanks for the warm welcome, saying he was happy to finally be able to make this visit to a 'brother people' of the Kyrgyz. The Mongolians put on the table the long-term perspectives of the Ulan Bator government's policy, the 'Vision-2050' and the 'New Rebirth Policy', in which cooperation with Bishkek on infrastructure, transport, logistics, agriculture and light industry should be included. Both sides agreed on the need to optimise the exploitation of natural resources.

Mongolia needs to diversify its foreign trade activities, and supplies of export products, such as meat, meat products and leather, were discussed. These items will be sent to Kyrgyzstan from Mongolia for distribution to the entire Central Asian region. The Kyrgyz will mainly supply the Mongols with fruit and vegetables. Political institutions will oversee all this with the necessary veterinary and prophylactic control measures.

The work of the Kyrgyz-Mongolian intergovernmental commission for trade, economy, science, technology and culture, which had an exchange of projects and protocols in March 2022, will be particularly strengthened, now to be implemented in a positive and effective form, without too many bureaucratic complications. Also present in the Kyrgyz delegation was Agriculture Minister Askarbek Dzhanybekov, who in turn emphasised the great possibilities opening up for cooperation with Mongolia in the agricultural sphere, with many mutual benefits.

The Ulan Bator government has also declared the period 2023-2025 as 'Mongolia Visit Years', in order to develop tourism to a country that is as fascinating and unspoilt as it is often little known. With Kyrgyzstan, there will therefore be joint programmes of direct air routes and abolition of entry visas, to encourage the most important exchanges, those of people and families.

Another initiative that is close to both countries' hearts is the Mongolian 'Billion Trees' proposal, which will now be coupled with that of the 'Kyrgyz-Mongolian Friendship Forest', with a large joint reforestation near the city of Erdenet. Kyrgyzstan is committed to supplying Mongolia with seeds and seedlings of fruit trees and berry bushes, useful for environmental protection and the fight against climate change, bilaterally and internationally.

Diplomatic activity and joint training of young diplomats and officials will be intensified, with mastery of each other's languages as a priority.

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