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BISHKEK (TCA) — During his first official visit abroad since his inauguration on November 24, Kyrgyzstan’s new President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has pledged to take "every effort" to strengthen partnership between Kyrgyzstan and Russia, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

"It is very symbolic for me to pay my first visit as Kyrgyz president to Russia. That is the way it should be," Jeenbekov said on November 29 as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Jeenbekov said the visit "means that we are firmly committed to strengthening our relations, our alliance, our strategic partnership. For my part, I will make every effort for our partnership to develop and strengthen."

Putin expressed confidence that bilateral ties in the economic sphere "will continue developing, just as in in the sphere of security."

Jeenbekov also met in the Russian capital with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who voiced hope that Moscow and Bishkek will "maintain current contacts."

The Kyrgyz president’s administration has said he would discuss bilateral ties and "Eurasian integration" with the Russian leadership.

Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, a trade grouping that unites five former Soviet republics and is dominated by Russia and Kazakhstan.

In his inaugural address on November 24, Jeenbekov said that "Kyrgyzstan will continue to promote its strategic partnership with Russia and will bolster its strategic partnership with China."

In an interview with Russian state news agency TASS before the visit, he called Russia "our main strategic partner" and also spoke of cultivating ties with China and Europe, but made no mention of the United States.

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