BISHKEK. President of Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster will pay an official visit to Kyrgyzstan starting on March 3. 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.
Schuster is the head of state of Slovakia since 15 June 1999. Slovak president is elected by direct, popular vote for a five-year term. A new presidential election in Slovakia will be held in May or June 2004.
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. 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.