A leading Kazakh writer has nominated actor Sacha Baron Cohen for a national award for popularizing Kazakhstan.

Novelist Sapabek Asip-uly called on the Kazakh Club of Art Patrons to give Cohen its annual award, according to a letter published by the Vremya newspaper Thursday.

Cohen’s fictional Kazakh character Borat “has managed to spark an immense interest of the whole world in Kazakhstan — something our authorities could not do during the years of independence,” said Asip-uly, who chairs the writers’ guild “The Land and Destiny of Kazakhs.” ~CNN