Report on the Visit of the GIF – ICAF Delegation to Kyrgyzstan

From June 17-21, 2009, in collaboration with the India Central Asia Foundation (ICAF), Global India Foundation (GIF) partook in a Track 2 initiative to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Kyrgyzstan. The GIF-ICAF delegation was led by Dr. K. Santhanam, President, ICAF. The ICAF delegation comprised of Dr. K. Santhanam, Brigadier Devinder Singh (Head, Economic Cell, ICAF) and Dr. Ramakant Dwivedi (Research Coordinator, ICAF), while GIF was represented by Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Member Secretary, GIF, Ms. Sayantani Sen (Academic Co-ordinator, GIF) and Ms.Cauvery Ganapathy (Fellow, GIF).This Track 2 initiative has enjoyed the express support of the Kyrgyz Ambassador to India, Ms. Orolbaeva Irina Abdyevna.

The first venture of the delegation was a Conference on ‘Kyrgyz - India Relations: Retrospect and Prospect’. The Conference at the Diplomatic Academy, Bishkek, was inaugurated by HE Mr.Ermek Ibrahimov, Deputy Foreign Minister, Kyrgyz Republic. Also gracing the course of deliberations were Ambassador Orolbaeva Irina Abdyevna, Ambassador J.S. Pande, Mr.N.Ravi, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, and former Kyrgyz Ambassador to India, Mr. Kimilbaiev. Prof. Mishra chaired the session on ‘India – Kyrgyz Relations in Historical, Cultural & Economic Areas and Pointers to the Future’. While, Ms. Sayantani Sen presented a paper entitled ‘Capitalism on the Silk Route: Enigma of Expediency’, focusing on trends that indicate the possibility of enhanced co-operation between the two countries, Ms. Cauvery Ganapathy presented a paper on the issue of energy security entitled ‘The Heartland of Asia: Where Energy Powers Co-operation’, dealing with Central Asia’s role as an energy hub in relation to India’s role as a mammoth energy consumer. Dr. Ramakant Dwivedi and Brig, Devinder Singh presented a paper on 'India-Kyrgyz Relations: Enhancing the Partnership'.

From left to right (sitting):Dr. K. Santhanam, Prof. Omprakash Mishra & other dignitaries.
From left to right(standing): Ms. Sayantani Sen (third), Ms. Cauvery Ganapathy (fourth), Brig. Devinder Singh, Dr. Ramakant Dwivedi & other dignitaries.

Taking the discussions forward from the exchanges in the Conference, the delegation met with HE Mr.Ermek Ibrahimov, Deputy Foreign Minister, Kyrgyz Republic, at the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ensuing discussion pertained to how various attempts at improving bilateral relations could be enhanced by streamlining the processes. Various potentialities were discussed in terms of which sectors could serve as better ventures for both India and Kyrgyzstan.

HE Mr.Ermek Ibrahimov & Ms. Orolbaeva Irina Abdyevna in discussion with the GIF-ICAF delegation.

The delegates from GIF had the opportunity of visiting the International University in Bishkek. The university has enjoyed a very fruitful collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The President of the University, Dr. Asylbek A. Aidaraliev elaborated on how the domain of education could serve as a veritable fulcrum around which bilateral ties between the two nations could be encouraged.