Israelis To Arm Kyrgyz Commando         
Sami Rozen, AIA Israeli section         
Russian  <> version

Several private Israeli companies have agreed to render technical assistance
to the special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan. This
assistance will include equipment, police jeeps, and also special gear used
for dispersal of demonstrations and in operations against terrorists, in
particular in mountainous area. Moreover, the Israelis will take part in
creation of the educational antiterrorist center in the territory of
republic. It will train and prepare officers of the commando of the Ministry
of Internal Affairs and National Security Service (SNB). An option to
involve Israeli instructors ex-servicemen of the elite divisions of police,
army and Israeli General Security Service (SHABAQ) in the process of
training is also considered. AIA was informed of that by the personal
secretary of one of members of the Israeli delegation, which visited Bishkek
this month. 
Both sides tried to avoid publicity of such negotiations in every possible
way. As a result, neither in Israeli, nor in Kyrgyz mass-media there were no
information published on the issue. The reason of such privacy is dictated
both by the level and the agenda of negotiations, and the person, who was
behind the organizing of the meeting. 

Delegation Led by the Ex-Chief of Intelligence

 Amnon Lipkin -Shahak
Amnon Lipkin -Shahak            

The most prominent figure in the delegation was the General - Lieutenant
(rez) Amnon Lipkin -Shahak. In 1986-91 he headed the Israeli military
intelligence - AMAN, and further, for three years was the Chief of General
Staff. Upon finishing his military career, in 1999 Lipkin - Shahak became
politically active, and, subsequently was the Minister of Tourism and
Transport. Since 2001 he is engaged in private business. The Israeli and
international companies in the sphere of security (security business,
technologies of video and audio surveillance, industrial - financial
intelligence) are paying a special interest to his person. So, last year
Lipkin - Shahak was addressed by the representatives of the Canadian-Israeli
Visual Defense Company specializing in technologies of video and audio
surveillance, the services of which are used by the governments and military
in several countries of the world. The former Chief of the Israeli Joint
Staff took their offer and became the chairman of the board of directors of
this company. At the same time, being engaged in business, Lipkin - Shahak
keeps up his connections with the Israeli security bodies. The fact that one
and a half year ago he participated in the work of the special commission
developing recommendations on introduction of the parliamentary control over
the Israeli confidential services testifies to that. 
During the negotiations in Bishkek, Lipkin - Shahak represented such
companies as Safeguard International&Technology and Tahal. The latter is
considered to be the largest engineering - consulting company in Israel, and
Lipkin - Shahak is a chairman of its board of directors. Except for him the
delegation included: Gabriel Vanunu - the president of Wanono - Karosen
Group Company, Chaim Avidan - the vice-president of Zander and Shamoon group
companies, and also Alexander Blinder - the chairman of board of the Sollers
ABV Group company. 

The Backstage Organizer

On March, 13 negotiations between the members of delegation with Kyrgyz
Prime Minister Felix Kulov took place in Bishkek. This meeting, as in many
respects the arrival of the Israeli businessmen, became possible due to Yuri
<> Sosnovsky. Formally he is
the adviser of the head of the government only on issue of investments.
Actually, he is one of the most influential figures at the backstage of
Kyrgyz economy. 
After graduating from Polytechnical institute of the city of Frundze (today
- Bishkek) in 1968, Sosnovsky devoted himself to science, and began
scientific work in the local Institute of Physics and Mechanics of the Earth
Material (IFMGP). However, during the first years of Kyrgyzstan's
independence he engaged in private business. At that time his major activity
was reduced to the import of foodstuff from the neighboring Kazakhstan and
Russia. Gradually Sosnovsky was spreading his influence over many spheres of
the Kyrgyz economy. This was promoted by his personal connections from the
former workplace, and also friendly relations with Felix Kulov, with whom
he, as rumors claim, became familiar since the times of school studies. 

  Felix Kulov as Minister of Interior
 Felix Kulov as Minister of Interior    
During the 1990s Kulov became one of the nearest coteries of the first
Kyrgyz President. At that time he occupied several key governmental posts,
in particular, he was the vice-President, the Minister of Internal Affairs
and National Security. Connections with one of the first persons in the
state, who has direct relation to the power bodies, promoted Sosnovsky's
participation in the large economic projects, and also relieved him of
encroachments of the criminal underworld. In his turn, the successful
businessman often rendered Kulov rather valuable services, when he was the
mayor of Bishkek in 1998-99. According to his foreign partners, Sosnovsky,
though he was registered only as the owner of small restaurant in the center
of the capital, actually was engaged exclusively in "heavy business", for
example development and export of raw materials. Thus, more and more often
he was playing a role of the intermediary between authorities and foreign
investors, especially from the countries of the Western Europe and the USA. 
In spring 2000, the head of republic Askar Akayev, began to see his former
favorite as a dangerous political contender and as a result of that Kulov
was imprisoned for the next 5 years. Exactly one year ago, after overthrow
<>  of the first 
          Felix Kulov (L) and Kurmanbek Bakiev (photo: Gazeta KG)
          Felix Kulov (L) and Kurmanbek Bakiev  
Kyrgyz President, Kulov became one of two main leaders of the new regime.
Without occupying any official posts, Sosnovsky took a role of his closest
adviser. Then Kulov agreed to support ex-Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev on
presidential elections in July, and in exchange received guarantees to head
the future cabinet. Almost three months prior to the official formation of
the new government, he offered Sosnovsky to head the Ministry of Finance.
However, preferring to remain in shadows, he refused the offer. It has not
prevented him from taking most active participation in development of the
economical program of the future Prime Minister. At the same time, Sosnovsky
actually monopolized conducting external economical contacts of Kulov,
becoming a link between him and foreign investors. The adviser of the Kyrgyz
Prime Minister gives obvious preference to the western companies. He was
behind the organizing of Kulov's negotiations with the representatives of
Israeli business circles. 

Kulov to Come to Israel

Strangely enough, during the negotiations not only the prospects of
cooperation in the field of security and economy were discussed, but also
some purely political questions. First of all it concerns the first visit of
the Kyrgyz Prime Minister to Israel. Kulov has declared his readiness to
visit the Jewish state the next month. However, the Israeli representatives
have expressed doubt that it is possible to arrange this on such a short
notice. As they said, it will be possible to arrange only after the forming
of a new Israeli cabinet, and most likely, it will take place in summer -
autumn of this year. Anyway, meanwhile in the documents signed on results of
the negotiations, the planned date of forthcoming visit - April, 2006 is
Besides, the sides have discussed participation of the Israeli companies in
a number of large investment projects in the territory of republic. The
Israelis have expressed readiness to invest into construction of two
oil-refining factories in the south and in the north of Kyrgyzstan. 
Also they are interested to purchase the "Crystal" plant, which is
considered the largest in the region manufacturer of polycrystalline
silicon. The tender was declared in November 2006. The initial price of 100%
of shares of the plant reaches $4.5 million. The buyer will be obliged
within three years to invest in the manufacture not less than $35 million.
At the same time, representatives of the delegation undertook providing
Kyrgyzstan with five years' credit for introduction of the Israeli system of
a drop irrigation in the local agriculture and development of the local
manufacture of solar collectors. They also are going to promote training in
Israel the Kyrgyz experts - ten representatives annually. 
With a view on activization of economical cooperation, the sides agreed upon
creation in Bishkek of permanent mission of the Israeli companies.

Rudimentary Relations 

Though Kyrgyzstan and Israel have established diplomatic relations in 1992,
till now they remain in embryo. Especially it is seen in almost total
absence of contacts at intergovernmental level. On the amount of bilateral
visits of the high-ranking statesmen, from the countries of Central Asia to
Israel and vice versa, Kyrgyzstan does not concede only to Tajikistan, and
is more and less on the same level with Turkmenistan. 
>From the Kyrgyz side the most significant visit in the history of mutual
relations was an arrival to Israel of the first President of the republic
Askar Akayev in January 1993. After the head of Egypt Anvar Sadat, he became
the second Muslim country leader who visited the Jewish state. 
For all this time, no Israeli Prime Minister or President has honored
Bishkek by his visit. In this connection it must be noted that the most
significant visits to Kyrgyzstan were the visits of Avigdor Liberman. For
the first time he visited the republic as the head of Prime Minister's
office in May 1998, and the second time he arrived in July 2001already being
the Minister of Infrastructures. The most notable visitor from Israeli
officials who visited Bishkek recently, was Anna Azari, the head of Eurasian
department of in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She visited Kyrgyz capital
in February this year. 
Such a situation is a result of narrow-mindedness of the Israeli politicians
and narrow orientation of the Israeli diplomacy, which is focused mainly on
the relations with the USA and solving of the Middle Eastern conflict. It is
affecting the contacts of the Jewish state with all the countries of Central
Asia. However, as against Kyrgyzstan, the majority of its neighbors have
their own influential lobbies in Israel. In the case of
<> Kazakhstan this role is
played by the well-known Jewish oligarchs of Central - Asian origin Lev
Leviev and Alexander Mashkevich. Uzbekistan enjoys support
<>  of a large community of
natives of this republic in Israel. The interests of Turkmenistan are
lobbies <>  (and not only in
Israel) by the Merhav Company headed by Joseph Meiman, who enjoys special
relations with President Niyazov. 
In many respects for this reason there is still unresolved question on
opening embassies in two countries. The Kyrgyz ambassador in Austria
supervises communications with Tel Aviv, and the head of the Israeli
diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan controls relations with Bishkek. 
Economic interaction between Kyrgyzstan and Israel is advanced in a greater
degree, rather than political contacts. The basic merit in this belongs to
the center of international cooperation "Mashav" at the Israeli Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. Since December 1993 its experts assisted Kyrgyzstan in
various spheres of agriculture. It includes: introduction of the Israeli
technologies in local facilities, consulting Kyrgyz farmers, organizing of
training courses for them in Israel. 
Bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture was saddened by the murder
of one of the "Mashav" representatives Elazar Brosh in August 2000. As the
local edition Vechernii Bishkek noted in this connection he "was an expert
in the drop irrigation, which became known in the republic with his
assistance, he introduced new technologies of cultivation of fish,
beekeeping and planting agricultural crops". According to the Ministry of
Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan the murder of Brosh was on "criminal ground"
(both suspects were detained). However, in the interview to the
abovementioned edition, the ambassador of Israel in Kazakhstan at that time
Israel Mei-Ami emphasized that Brosh's death was a result of "nationalist
act of terrorism on a criminal background". 
In parallel with "Mashav's" activity, a number of Israeli companies and also
separate businessmen with a dual citizenship (usually Kazakh or Russian)
operate on the Kyrgyz market. Till now their activity was mostly connected
to such spheres as: telecommunications, gold mining, processing of milk and
manufacture of foodstuff. 
In 1998 of the sides agreed upon establishment of the direct aircraft
service between Bishkek and Tel Aviv. Till now this agreement was not
Now the Kyrgyz leaders hope that the March visit of the Israeli businessmen
to Bishkek and Prime Minister Kulov's planned trip to Tel Aviv will serve as
a powerful push to activization of mutual relations, both in economical and
political spheres. 

Kyrgyzstan issue:
Iran Started a  <>
Clandestine War in the Caucasus and Central Asia (24.02.06)
Kyrgyz Kinglet  <> Gets Rid
of the Unwanted Ones (30.08.05)
'Gray Eminence' of  <>
Kyrgyz Mountains (20.08.05)
Chief of the  <> Kyrgyz
National Guard Can Rely Only on Russia (16.08.05)
America Has Lost  <>
Kyrgyzstan (11.07.05)
Karasu:  <> Kyrgyzstan's
Smoldering Wick (15.05.05)
The Battle for  <> Kyrgyzia:
The Kremlin is Leading 1:0 (09.05.05)
Bishkek Has Sent to  <>
Moscow the Person from the Past (05.05.05)

Israel - Central Asia:
Kazakh Historian  <> Turned
Deputy Minister After Stay in Israel (09.03.06)
Israel could have been  <> a
leader in the Great Game (21.02.06)
Ambassador of  <> Uzbekistan left
Israel (20.01.06)
Iranians and Turks  <> Won
at the Beginning of Great Game's New Round (21.12.05)
Uzbekistan and  <> Israel
Share the Same Enemy (01.09.05)
Ex-Representative  <> of the
Mossad in Moscow Supports Islam Karimov (23.06.05) 

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