France and Kyrgyzstan/B_descRubAff1>
A bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Understanding and Cooperation was signed in June 1994 following the independence of Kyrgyzstan, with which France established diplomatic relations in February 1992. Since 2001, our bilateral relations have intensified through the hosting of a French air detachment in Bishkek in support of our military operations in Afghanistan. A diplomatic branch office was opened in Bishkek in summer 2004 and converted into a full-fledged embassy in December 2009.
On the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens on 1 December 2009, Mr Bernard Kouchner, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, met with his Kyrgyz counterpart Mr Kadyrbek Sarbaev to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations and issues on the international agenda. Mr Kouchner announced the opening of a full-fledged embassy in Kyrgyzstan. The first French Ambassador resident in Kyrgyzstan arrived in May 2010. The current Ambassador, Mr Stéphane Catta, took office in September 2013.
The Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev was received by President François Hollande in Paris in March 2015. Prior to this, the former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva visited France in March 2011 and met with the Foreign Minister, Alain Juppé. The French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner visited Kyrgyzstan in July 2010 with his German counterpart to renew France’s support for efforts to ensure stabilization and a return to the rule of law. France has awarded a total of €1.2 million in the form of humanitarian and medical assistance, and of financing for a project to assist displaced persons in the Fergana Valley.
The France-Kyrgyzstan Friendship Group in the National Assembly and the French Senate’s France-Central Asia Friendship Group have paid several visits to Kyrgyzstan since 2009. The France-Central Asia inter-parliamentary friendship group’s last mission to Kyrgyzstan took place in April 2011.
Although our trade has increased in recent years, Kyrgyzstan is still a marginal destination (with €12 million in 2008 and €34 million in 2014). French imports from Kyrgyzstan amounted to €14.5 million in 2014. They mainly consisted of metals. French exports (€19 million in 2014) consist almost exclusively of mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment. French companies are little represented in Kyrgyzstan due to limited market opportunities and the business climate, but they are interested in the country’s potential. Multilateral donors can provide sources of funding. The few public contracts won by French companies concern energy (supply of hydroelectric turbines).
The Alliance Française in Bishkek is the French operator responsible for cultural and linguistic outreach in Kyrgyzstan.
The French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC) is a regional research institute based in Bishkek. It conducts research and exchanges on regional social sciences and humanities.