Kazakhstan has officially thanked Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy character Borat for boosting tourism to the country.
The 'thank you' comes even though the 2006 movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which featured Sacha as a mock Kazakh TV journalist, lampooned the country's people and was actually banned there.
But, according to news.com.au, Yerzhan Kazykhanov, the Foreign Minister for the Central Asian nation of 16 million, said in parliament: "With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold.
"I salute 'Borat' for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan."
It has taken six years for attitudes toward the movie to be anything other than outrage. Local access to Baron Cohen's website was even banned at the time of the film's release.
And there were red faces when the Olympic Committee of Asia accidentally played Borat's spoof Kazakh national anthem during an awards ceremony for shooting medals in Kuwait.
According to the Daily Mail, the Kazakh embassy in London has been put under "strict orders" to ensure the same thing does not happen at the London Olympics in July, and that British officials are aware of the correct anthem.
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