BISHKEK. President of Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster will pay an official visit to Kyrgyzstan on March 4-6. He will meet with President Askar Akayev, Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev and the speakers of the both chambers of the Kyrgyz parliament, Altai Borubayev and Abdygany Erkebayev. It is expected that the both sides will sign several agreements on strengthening bi-lateral cooperation between Slovakia and Kyrgyzstan.
The Slovak and Czech republics have historic ties with the Kyrgyz. In 1920s the Slovak and Czech volunteers came to Kyrgyzstan and established several industrial and agricultural cooperatives that became one of the bases for the modern Kyrgyz industry. Some of them were repressed during the Stalinist campaigns in 1930s. Some of them returned back and few of them still live in Kyrgyzstan.
By the way, Alexandr Dubcek, a prominent reformer of the Czechoslovak Communist regime during the 1968 Spring, spent his childhood years in Bishkek in the 1930s. He was elected the chairman of the Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia on December 28, 1989, and re-elected in 1990. Dubcek died at age 70 on November 7, 1992, of injuries sustained in a car crash
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Bruce Pannier in Prague