Bishkek, 21 August 2023 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Zheenbek Kulubaev met with the U.S. Senator, Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Governmental Affairs Gary Peters today, as part of his regional visit.

The parties discussed topical agenda issues and prospects for the development of bilateral relations between the U.S. and the Kyrgyz Republic.

The discussions centred on the observance of the C5+1 mechanism with regard to sanctions prevention, security issues and cooperation between the two sides.

During the meeting, the sides also noted the commitment to continue working collaboratively to ensure regional stability and security in Central Asia.

The Kyrgyz side expressed appreciation to the U.S. for its assistance in repatriating Kyrgyz citizens from Syria.

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The parties confirmed their interest in continuing to dialogue on a wide range of bilateral connections, by the conclusion of the meeting.

Repatriation of Kyrgyz Citizens from Syria

From 2018 to 2021, relatives of citizens of Kyrgyzstan who were in camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Syria and prisons in Iraq repeatedly appealed to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic to assist and organize the return of their relatives and friends from conflict zones.

According to the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2018, cited by UNDP, 850 Kyrgyzstanis left for the war zone in Syria until 2020, of whom 150 were killed there. It is also noted that 140 more women are among those held in Syria.

In February 2023, the Government of Kyrgyzstan repatriated 18 women and 41 children from displaced persons camps in northeast Syria.

However, this was in joint efforts with the U.S. and their local partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, as part of their attempts to resolve the ongoing humanitarian and security challenges in Syria presented by the al-Hol and Roj camps.

Therefore, the Kyrgyz Republic extended gratitude to the US government for their assistance in repatriation.