Public lecture of Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

On 7 October Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Erlan Abdyldaev gave a lecture at The Hague Clingendael Institute. Abdyldaev referred to the 25th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s independence and the importance of developing democratic institutes and civil society. He mentioned that in 2017 Kyrgyzstan will elect a new president. Abdyldaev stressed the importance of successful transition to a market economy, stable economic development and restoring destroyed economic relations. The priority sectors for Kyrgyzstan are: mining, energy, transport infrastructure and tourism. Abdyldaev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan’s main partner in foreign policy is the United Nations and that it fully adheres to its principles. He also mentioned the challenges Kyrgyzstan faces, such as international terrorism, extremism, illicit weapons and drugs trafficking, as well as money laundering.

Celebrating 25 years of Kyrgyz independence and diplomatic cooperation with the Netherlands

The event started with the welcoming words of Bart Hogeveen, Clingendael training and research fellow, who coordinates diplomatic training in the Central Asian region. Given the long history of diplomatic cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the Netherlands, in particular Clingendael Institute, the current interest lies in the changes in diplomacy and developments in foreign relations of Kyrgyzstan. Diplomatic interests are expanding fast and strict priorities are set in foreign policy. Since 1994 Clingendael Institute has been training Kyrgyz diplomats and upgrading their skills to the fast-paced international environment.

Abdyldaev stated that the trade turnover between the Netherlands and Kyrgyzstan is not more than 50 million US dollars. There is a good political base for broadening relations with the Netherlands. People trained by the Netherlands become ambassadors, consuls and plan to intensify economic cooperation between the two countries. Some Dutch companies are already interested in investing in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz foreign policy priorities

In his speech Abdyldaev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan has an important geopolitical location, it’s a bridge between East, West, North and South. Its main regional partners are the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. There is a need for more confidence building in Central Asia. Abdyldaev is convinced that in order to overcome the main development threats, such as international terrorism, extremism, illicit drugs and weapons trafficking and money laundering, joint efforts of United Nations Members are necessary. The Kyrgyz 2020 development strategy is based on interaction with religious leaders, media and civil society. Abdyldaev mentioned a Kyrgyz plan to reconstruct its power supply, as well as his confidence in Kyrgyzstan’s ability to provide energy from its hydro power plants to the whole region. One of the current priorities of Kyrgyzstan is its comprehensive partnership with the EU and it supports its initiative of Central Asian Partnership. Abdyldaev expressed Kyrgyzstan’s support for human rights dialogue and touched upon the recent incident at the OSCE-IDHR conference in Warsaw. He said that Kyrgyzstan is concerned with the OSCE decision to give the floor to a Kyrgyz activist Kadyrzhan Batyrov, who was convicted in 2010 for inciting interethnic hatred. Abdyldaev compared disrespect to the judicial system, as regards to such crime, to terrorism and extremism. Kyrgyzstan will initiate reconsideration of procedural issues at OSCE-IDHR platform of giving the floor to activists.

Door: Yana Ballod

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