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Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan–Kyrgyzstan relations

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Bilateral relationships between the countries are very strong and Kyrgyz and Kazakh are very close in terms of language, culture and religion. Kyrgyz-Kazakh relationships have always been at very high level and economic and other formal unification of two countries have been greeted with strong appreciation by both nations since the two share a lot in common. On April 26, 2007 the presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement to create an "International Supreme Council" between the two states. This historic event took place during an official visit of the Kazakh president to the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek. Kazakhstan’s direct investment in the Kyrgyz economy has been rapidly gaining pace since the early 2000s. Today Kazakhstan’s economic presence is felt throughout northern Kyrgyzstan, from banks to small businesses, cars with Kazakh plates and numerous tourists. For the most, the Kyrgyz are welcoming these trends as both countries share a similar culture and traditions. During the last five years Kazakhstan invested about 400 million dollars in Kyrgyzstan and is considered the largest investor. Thirty-three percent of the total Kyrgyzstan bank's equity belongs to Kazakh investors. There are about 2, 000 enterprises functioning in Kyrgyzstan, and 500 belong to Kazakh entrepreneurs. Kazakh-Kyrgyz unification is in the economic interests of both countries. "I do not see any problem in unification with another country. In the future we should unite with this or another state, anyway. Unification with Kazakhstan will be a good accelerator for our economic development, " said lawmaker Juraev.

Kazakhstan is extremely important to northern Kyrgyzstan. For some period in the mid-1990s, the virtual closure of Manas Airport at Bishkek made Kazakhstan's capital, Almaty, the principal point of entry to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan's northwestern city of Talas receives nearly all of its services through the city of Taraz, across the border in Kazakhstan.

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