Coronavirus in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan|politics|November 5, 2020 / 12:02 PM
Businessman on behalf of acting President Japarov's office signs $1 million lobbying deal - report
Former Israeli military intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe

AKIPRESS.COM - Just two weeks after taking over seemingly out of nowhere, Kyrgyzstan’s acting president has already signed a $1 million lobbying contract for international help with an economic crisis that contributed to his predecessor’s downfall, reported.

The office of President Sadyr Japarov signed the contract with former Israeli military intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe on Oct. 30, according to a new lobbying filing. It calls for Ben-Menashe’s firm, Montreal-based Dickens & Madson Canada, to lobby governments in the United States and the Middle East for assistance to the struggling Central Asian republic.

“You hereby retain us … to lobby the executive and/or legislative branches of the governments of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and any other mutually agreed-upon country or countries, international organizations and NGOs on your behalf,” the contract states. Dickens & Madson has already received half the agreed-upon amount, according to the filing.

From the United States, Dickens & Madson is seeking “material assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences,” according to the lobbying filing. This includes securing meetings for Japarov with “senior US officials” in “short order” to attempt to develop “security relations and economic cooperation” agreements as well as funding for debt repayment.

But the agreement doesn’t end there, drawing on Ben-Menashe’s Middle East connections — he’s notably a lobbyist for Emirati transport logistics giant Dubai Ports World — to press for help from the increasingly integrated region.

That includes striving to arrange a meeting for Japarov with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and lobbying the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to invest in the country’s “highway infrastructure” and the “development of its mines and oil fields,” with possible meetings for Japarov in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. The Israeli government can expect to be pressed to invest in the country’s agricultural and security sectors, while private US businesses will be encouraged to invest in the country’s agricultural sector, particularly cotton.

In a phone interview with Foreign Lobby Report, Ben-Menashe said the time was ripe for Israel and Gulf Arab states to work together on international assistance after the Donald Trump administration helped bring their long-lasting ties into the open.

“Obviously there’s been a rapprochement and these guys [Kyrgyzstan] will get the benefit of the package,” Ben-Menashe said. “They might be able to put together an aid package where you have the different parties in the Middle East contribute. It makes it easier for everybody.”

The contract on behalf of the government of Kyrgyzstan was signed by Abdymanap Karchigaev. The stamp of the Agrarian Industrial Corporation Renaissance.
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