Tehran, Bishkek Seek Closer Relations
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev met in Bishkek on Wednesday to discuss ways of promoting mutual cooperation.
Both sides underlined the need for efforts to ensure the comprehensive expansion of bilateral ties, calling it “a necessity”, IRNA reported.
The meeting took place on the last leg of Zarif’s tour of Turkmenistan, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan aimed at attending ceremonies to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and the three countries after their independence and expanding ties with the Central Asian and Caucasian countries.
He arrived in the Kyrgyz capital early Wednesday after his one-day visits to Turkmenistan and Georgia.
Pointing to the economic and industrial delegation accompanying him, Zarif emphasized the potential for cooperation in different fields, including advanced technologies, construction, agriculture and mining, among other fields.
Earlier in the day, in an address to Iran-Kyrgyzstan Economic Forum, the top diplomat said Iran was one of the first countries to recognize Kyrgyzstan’s independence and it sees no limits to enhancement of relations with the Central Asian country.
“We will not forget the friends who were helpful in hard times,” he said, referring to collaboration between the two sides during sanctions years.
He highlighted President Hassan Rouhani’s “constructive visit” to Bishkek in December 2016, as a means of paving the way for developing bonds between the two states.
Iran and Kyrgyzstan have embarked on what seems to be a new era of bilateral relations due to rising interactions in various spheres.
The two countries have generally had friendly relations, as they have signed agreements on cooperation in areas of transport, customs, trade and commerce. They also have interactions in the fields of education, culture, tourism and war on trafficking and crimes in general.
The two countries trade in agriculture and capital goods. Iranian companies participated in the construction of a highway connecting Bishkek and Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan.
Before the meeting, Zarif met his Kyrgyz counterpart, Erlan Abdyldaev, to discuss the same issues.
The Iranian minister also held talks with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Parliament Speaker Chynybai Tursunbekov after attending a lunch banquet hosted by Abdyldaev.
Tursunbekov is scheduled to visit Tehran at the head of a delegation later this week at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart, Ali Larijani.