Launch of language training for key Kyrgyz military staff
A delegation headed by the NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia visited the Kyrgyz Republic from 9 to 12 February to launch a new English-language training programme for selected active military staff. During their visit, the delegation also attended graduation ceremonies of NATO’s long-running resettlement and retraining programme for military personnel transitioning to civilian life, and held meetings with a number of senior Kyrgyz officials.
Launched upon the request of the Kyrgyz authorities, the new NATO-Kyrgyzstan English-language training programme for serving military personnel will allow 15 competitively selected candidates to become proficient in military English in the space of one year. After completing the NATO-funded course, the officers will receive certificates attesting their knowledge of the language.
Teaching staff from the Bishkek-based American University of Central Asia (AUCA) will deliver the training. The programme aims to enhance the Kyrgyz defence ministry’s capacity to take part effectively in activities organised by NATO for partners as well as other international military cooperation events.
The launch was attended by representatives of the Kyrgyz authorities and covered widely by national media outlets.
The new language programme is partly based on the successful experience of the NATO-Kyrgyzstan resettlement and retraining programme for released military personnel which has been running since 2009. This programme gives the opportunity for former military personnel and officers who are due to be discharged to improve and develop English language, IT skills and basic knowledge in economics, aimed at helping them pursue employment opportunities in civilian life. Over 600 trainees have graduated from this programme and on average about 65-70 per cent find employment afterwards. NATO officials attended annual graduation ceremonies in Bishkek, Osh and Karakol.
During the visit, the NATO delegation also held meetings with First Deputy Secretary of the Defence Council Kubanychbek Oruzbaev, First Deputy Defence Minister Zamir Suyerkulov, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Director for Europe and the Americas, Temirbek Sultanbayev and – at the Jogorku Kenesh – with the heads of the Parliamentary Committee on International Affairs and Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security. Discussions focused on bilateral cooperation within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace, as well as regional security issues of common interest, including the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Ukraine. A meeting also took place with the Rector and leadership of the Diplomatic Academy of the Kyrgyz Republic to discuss expanding cooperation, including in the context of the NATO Depository Library hosted by the Academy.The NATO officials also met with representatives of the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to discuss topics of mutual interest concerning Kyrgyzstan and the wider region.
While in Bishkek, the NATO Liaison Officer gave a lecture and took part in a debate with students at the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University focusing on NATO's engagement with Central Asian partners and Afghanistan following the end of the NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan.