BISHKEK, May 15 — Malaysia and the Kyrgyz Republic today affirmed their commitment to increasing bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both countries and their peoples.

The affirmation came after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov signed a joint statement following a four-eyed meeting at the Ala Archa State Residence here, confirming their mutual desire and readiness for comprehensive enhancement of cooperation.

Anwar is on a two-day official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic at the invitation of the president. He was earlier accorded an official welcome, during which he also inspected the guard of honour.

In the joint statement released to the media, both leaders outlined three areas to enhance through cooperation, namely political cooperation; trade, economic, and investment cooperation; and cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

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Among other points, the leaders emphasised a common commitment to enhancing regional security and acknowledged the importance of joint efforts in addressing challenges and threats such as international terrorism, cyber threats, transnational crime, and illegal drug trafficking.

“The leaders recognised the need to counter these challenges in a holistic manner and therefore committed to facilitating, as far as possible, cooperation in information exchange and coordination of actions at the international level,” the statement said.

Anwar and Zhaparov also acknowledged the importance of coordinated actions within international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

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They also committed to jointly supporting initiatives aimed at strengthening the world order, justice, and compliance with international law.

The joint statement also noted that both leaders agreed to recognise the importance of regular and open dialogue between their governments and, thus will ensure regular consultations at various levels, including high-level and senior-level meetings, as well as meetings of diplomatic representatives and experts.

“These meetings will contribute to the exchange of views on current global issues, as well as discussions on matters of bilateral and multilateral interest,” the statement said.

The two leaders also noted the importance of strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation between the countries as an important component of enhancing bilateral relations.

This includes organising regular meetings of parliamentarians at the level of friendship groups and international committees, arranging reciprocal visits of speakers, and other relevant committees and members of the parliaments of both countries.

Besides that, Anwar and Zhaparov also expressed their readiness to actively work towards strengthening and expanding the bilateral legal framework for cooperation.

“The leaders will intensify the process of developing and signing new bilateral agreements covering various aspects of cooperation, including trade, investment, education, healthcare, tourism, certification, science, new technologies, and so on,” the statement read.

It also noted that Malaysia and the Kyrgyz Republic recognised the importance of education as a key component of cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

Both leaders are confident that the development of educational and cultural ties will contribute to deepening mutual understanding and enriching cultural heritage.

They believe that these efforts will strengthen the friendly relations between the peoples of both countries.

“The two parties will actively support the exchange of educational experiences, including student exchange programmes, joint master’s and doctoral programmes, teaching visits, and collaborative research projects.

“This will contribute to the multifaceted enrichment of educational practices and support the development of higher and secondary specialised educational institutions in both countries,” read the joint statement.

It said both leaders will also pay particular attention to the development of cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“The parties will enhance the exchange of sports delegations, strive to organise joint training camps, and support the participation of athletes in international competitions held in the territories of both countries,” it added. — Bernama