NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan, which froze its participation in the activities of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) in 2015, agreed to create a joint working group on this issue with Kazakhstan.

A corresponding agreement was reached during the visit of Kazakhstan’s Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev to the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, the press service of the ministry said on 17 December.

The Kazakh and Kyrgyz sides also discussed the issue of enhancing water cooperation, as well as the possibility of Kyrgyzstan returning to the IFAS.

“Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have agreed that we will create a working group, and on an ongoing, daily basis, resolve existing issues on water issues. We will create a separate bilateral working group on IFAS in order to discuss the issue of saving the Aral Sea on a regular basis,” Mirzagaliev said following the trip.

The parties also discussed a schedule on water supply by Kyrgyzstan for Kazakhstan in the Shu River basin. Two republics need to implement an online hydrological data exchange system, the ministry said.

The meeting participants also touched upon the issues of the water management situation in the Syrdarya river basin.

The issue of peaceful sharing of transboundary rivers has always been a key issue for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh ministry said.