NATO marks two decades of cooperation with Kyrgyzstan
A series of events took place in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, from 10 to 14 November, marking the 20th anniversary this year of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
Kyrgyzstan’s Diplomatic Academy hosted a conference on “Central Asia, Afghanistan and Regional Security post-2014”. Afghan and Kyrgyz students, as well as representatives of the media and the diplomatic corps, heard briefings from senior experts from Kyrgyzstan and other countries in the region. Participants discussed their perceptions of progress and the significant challenges ahead in Afghanistan, and looked at ways in which the neighbouring Central Asian countries could support the country’s stabilisation.
The Diplomatic Academy has hosted NATO’s first depository library in Kyrgyzstan since 2009. This November, a similar facility, a NATO Multimedia Corner, was opened at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) to provide researchers, students and the wider public with up-to-date content on international relations, regional security, and conflict prevention.
During the opening ceremony at AUCA, the NATO Liaison Officer for Central Asia, Alexander Vinnikov, launched a new lecture series with a talk on “NATO’s engagement with Central Asian partners and Afghanistan: post-Summit, post-ISAF”. This was followed by a question and answer session with the students.
Meetings with senior officials
During his visit to Kyrgyzstan, the NATO Liaison Officer also held meetings with government representatives on deepening bilateral cooperation within the PfP framework, as well as regional security issues of common interest, including the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Ukraine. He met Deputy Secretary of the Defence Council Kubanychbek Oruzbayev, Deputy Foreign Minister Erines Otorbayev, First Deputy Defence Minister Zamir Suyerkulov, and Deputy Head of the State Border Service Abdikarim Alimbayev.
Mr Vinnikov also exchanged views on political, economic and security challenges facing Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia with the Deputy Director of Kyrgyzstan’s National Institute for Strategic Studies, Chinara Esengul, as well as with representatives of Allied embassies and other international organisations.