The Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi started her first-ever official visit to Central Asia by first arriving in Bishkek and meeting her counterpart H.E. Mr Zheenbek Kulubaev.
She visited Cholpon-Ata and got familiar with the cultural heritage of the people of Kyrgyz. She also interacted with the Indian students at the International Higher School of Medicine in Cholpon-Ata and there the scholars showed their diverse talent in culture by performing through dance and mesmerizing performances. Later, she then took part within the yoga session within the accumulation on the International Day of Yoga at the scenic Issyk-Kul Lake.
The bilateral relations of the India-Kyrgyz Republic are very warm and friendly and also support India’s bid for a permanent seat at the “United Nations Security Council” (UNSC). Both the nations share common concerns on issues like terrorism, drug traffic and extremism. Since 1992, both the countries established their diplomatic relations and have signed many framework agreements that include Culture, trade and Economic Cooperation, Investment Promotion and Protection, Civil Aviation etc. On 31st August 1991, when the Kyrgyz Republic got its independence, India was among the first to form diplomatic relations. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Bishkek and Issyk-Kul Lake and subsequently in 1995, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao also visited the Kyrgyz Republic. After having 20 years of gap, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kyrgyzstan in July 2015, he gifted medical equipment and signed agreements and MoU within the field of culture, defence cooperation and election and standardization.
She also took decisions related to the state and prospects of the India-Kyrgyz Republic relations and exchanged views on contemporary issues that have importance from regional and international perspectives. She met with the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E Mr Akylbek Zhaparov and conveyed to him the most effective wishes from PM Shri Narendra Modi and assures commitment of India to be a reliable partner for the development of the Kyrgyzstan.
She then met with the Minister of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy Mr Azamat Zhamankulov and signed the Cultural Exchange Program for 2022-2026, which is able to further enrich the cultural cooperation between India and Kyrgyzstan.
MoS Meenakashi Lekhi interacts with the Indian community in Bishkek and also encouraged them for continuing giving their efforts toward the stronger bonds between India and Kyrgyzstan. On her visit to the current country, she offered the floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Molodyozhny Park in Bishkek and also planted a tree to further enhance the India-Kyrgyz Republic. She had a pleasant tour of the Kyrgyz “State Historical Museum” in Bishkek with the Minister of Culture Mr Azamat Zhamankulov. She also visited the India-Kyrgyz Mountain Bio-medical Research Centre, which as she mentioned is a symbol of bilateral partnership on high-altitude research.
Indian culture is spread everywhere around the globe and got appreciation within the Asian country too. In 1997, the Centre for Indian Studies was formed at Osh State University, which has been very useful in terms of providing exposure to Indian culture and civilization to intelligentsia and academicians in this country, but it got discontinued due to the 2010 unrest in Osh. In 2014, the mission was established on its own and formed an India Study Centre in the National Library of Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek. The Centre is smoothly running with the assistance of the volunteers and imparts training in Hindi and English languages, Kathak dance and Yoga practice.