Just two weeks after coming to power, 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. ForeignLobby.com reports.
The office of President Sadyr Japarov signed the contract with former Israeli military intelligence officer Ari Ben-Menashe on October 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.
According to the media outlet, from the United States, Dickens & Madson is seeking «material assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences.» 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.
«The agreement 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 media outlet states.
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.
As noted, the contract comes as Kyrgyzstan has been turning everywhere it can for relief as the coronavirus epidemic takes a disproportionate toll on its economy.