Your Excellency, President of Kyrgyz Republic and my friend Mr. Sooronbay Jeenbekov,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I express my gratitude to President Jeenbekov for extending a very warm welcome to me and my delegation. I congratulate Kyrgyzstan on the unprecedented achievements of almost last 30 years. The future of this country is bright because of its natural beauty, strong democracy and talented people. The friendship and love of Kyrgyz people towards the people of India is heart touching. During my last visit here and this time also I have felt just like home.
I congratulate you on the successful presidency of the SCO Summit. In your presidency, SCO has taken several steps to improve regional cooperation. Last month in New Delhi, you graced my swearing-in ceremony. I’m grateful to you. I am also happy that today I have the opportunity to review our bilateral relations with you. Both India and Kyrgyz Republic attach great importance to mutual relations.
Today I had extensive discussions with President Jeenbekov on many issues. We both feel that there are immense potential for cooperation between us. Today, we have decided to take our bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership. This will help us have long-term cooperation in every area of our partnership.
As two ancient and glorious civilizations, we are naturally connected to each other. India and Central Asia have had deep historical and cultural links. India and Kyrgyz Republic are the land of epics. For example, the Mahabharata and Ramcharit Manas in India and Manas in Kyrgyz Republic. We both are democracies and are full of diversity.
Our common sense of strengthening our ancient relations and peace gave us the motivation to further strengthen our relations. This has also expanded our diplomatic relations. On different areas of bilateral and multilateral issues, India and Kyrgyz Republic regularly consult each other closely. We hold the same views on many international topics. We have strong cooperation in United Nations and other international platforms. Our defense cooperation has increased in military training, joint warfare, field research and military technical areas. The two countries have decided to form a Joint Working Group on defense cooperation. There are immense possibilities of economic cooperation between us and both countries can take advantage of them.
Today we had a bilateral investment treaty and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). We have also agreed on a five-year road map in the field of trade and economic cooperation. Today President Jeenbekov and I have jointly inaugurated the India-Kyrgyz Business Forum to increase B2B cooperation. An Indian trade show named ‘Namaskar Eurasia’ will be organized in Bishkek this year. I call upon Indian companies to study the opportunities in Kyrgyz Republic in the field of construction, railways, hydro power, mining and other areas.
To meet the development needs of the Kyrgyz Republic, today I’m happy to announce $ 200 million worth of concessional line of credit. I hope that this assistance will be helpful in introducing many India-Kyrgyz joint economic activities in Kyrgyz Republic. Better connectivity between India and the Kyrgyz Republic and large parts of Central Asia will lead to business, investment and people-to-people contacts between people of both the sides.
India and the Kyrgyz Republic actively participated in the first India-Central Asia Dialogue at the level of foreign ministers held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in January. We have also shared vision for prosperity, peace and stability in our shared area. Excellency,
Today, terrorism is the biggest threat for democratic and diverse societies like India and Kyrgyzstan. We are united to find a solution to terrorism and fundamentalism. The sponsors of terrorism will have to be held accountable. This message that terrorism cannot be considered justified in any way needs to be given to the whole world.
Friends, India-Kyrgyz Joint Textiles Exhibition has been inaugurated in Bishkek. Those who watched the exhibition enthusiastically may have been surprised with the similarity between India and Kyrgyz textile traditions. India and Kyrgyz Republic will also collaborate on issues such as mountain ecology, green tourism and conservation of Snow Leopard. People-to-people friendship between us and cultural intimacy is our biggest asset. I want it to be preserved. Several steps have also been taken for this.
I am glad to announce that we have agreed to celebrate 2021 as the year of cultural and friendship between the Kyrgyz Republic and India. Once again I thank you Mr. President. On this occasion, I invite you to come to India. It would be great honor for us to welcome you in India.