Four months into his posting in Kuala Lumpur, Kyrgyzstan ambassador Zheenbek Kulubaev has many reasons to feel close to Malaysia.
To start with, while Malaysia celebrates 'Merdeka' (Independence) on August 31, so does the Central Asian republic.
"We are like brothers," he said as he spoke about plans to enhance Malaysia-Kyrgyz ties at his office in Jalan Tun Razak.
As Malaysia gears up for the national day on Sunday, Kulubaev said the celebration would also normally be held in a big way in Kyrgyzstan which gained independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union.
However the Kyrgystan government has cancelled celebration planned at the central square of its capital Bishkek this year following the airplane crash which left 68 people dead last Sunday.
The 45-year-old ambassador says he was looking forward to celebrating the Holy month of Ramadhan in Malaysia.
"Sixty-three percent of our population are Muslims and being here in Malaysia during the fasting month will be an interesting experience for me," said Kulubaev who first visited Malaysia in 2003 when he was the deputy foreign minister to attend a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).