On October 15, 2021 the Turkic Council in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary (IFAT) and the Center of Analysis of International Relations of Azerbaijan (AIR Center) organized an international conference in Budapest on the theme “Turkic States in the 30th Year of Independence and Cooperation: New Opportunities for Regional Peace and Cooperation in the South Caucasus.”
The conference was attended by H.E. Hasan Hasanov, the Member of the Council of Elders of the Turkic Speaking States from the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Binali Yildirim, the Member of the Council of Elders of the Turkic Speaking States from the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Péter Sztáray, State Secretary for Security Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, H.E. Tahir Taghizadeh, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Hungary, Mr. Gismat Gozalov, Deputy Secretary General of the Turkic Council, the members of the academia, diplomatic corps and press.
In their welcoming speeches, the Director of IFAT, Márton Ugrósdy and Ambassador Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of AIR Center underlined the importance of the Conference and topics to be discussed during the panel sessions. They also emphasized the growing influence of the Turkic States and Hungary, their deepening relations, as well as their cooperation in the framework of the Turkic Council.
In his opening speech, Deputy Secretary General Gismat Gozalov pointed out that over the past 30 years the Turkic Republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia have made great progress in their nation building processes, have become market economies and emerged as regional medium powers. He also announced that Turkmenistan will join the Turkic Council as an observer state during the upcoming 8th Summit in Istanbul in November 2021, completing the missing part of the family photo of the Turkic countries.
Péter Sztáray, the State Secretary for Security Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, talked about Hungary’s deepening bond with the Turkic Council’s member states, based on linguistic ties, as well as on common historic heritage. He also stressed Hungary’s firm support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. Going forward, Mr. Sztáray underlined Hungary’s readiness to increase cultural cooperation with Central Asia, Turkey and Azerbaijan and strengthen economic ties in various sectors of mutual benefit.
Hasan Hasanov, the Member of the Council of Elders of the Turkic Council from the Republic of Azerbaijan underlined the brinksmanship demonstrated by President Ilham Aliyev that led to Azerbaijan’s decisive victory in the 44-day Patriotic War. It was also noted that thousands of young Azerbaijanis sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom. Their souls have risen to the summit of martyrdom and are forever engraved in the memory of the Azerbaijani people.
Binali Yildirim, the Member of the Council of Elders of the Turkic Council from the Republic of Turkey, stated that since their independence, the Turkic Republics of Caucasus and Central Asia have marked remarkable achievements in terms of their state-building and nation-building processes. It was emphasized that these individual achievements have brought the Turkic States that share a common history, language and culture closer to one another that paved the way to the establishment of the Turkic Council as the “common house of the Turkic cooperation”.
Tahir Taghizadeh, the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Hungary, a keynote speaker noted that in the post-conflict period restoration activities and the return of the IDPs to their homelands will be a top priority for Azerbaijan. Emphasizing the new realities that have emerged in this period, he stressed the importance of the Zangazur Corridor as a new transport and communication line towards contributing to peace, security and development in the region, as well as creating new opportunities for the Turkic World.
The conference continued with panel discussions in which scholars from the official research institutes of the Turkic Council conducted deliberations on topics such as regional transport cooperation, opportunities for regional peace, Turkic States and their growing relations with Turkey and Hungary in the 30th year of independence and cooperation.
The event also featured a presentation by the AIR Center on the Geo-economic Atlas of the Turkic World.
Following the conference, the Representation Office of the Turkic Council in Hungary hosted a splendid reception on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The event was attended by high-level officials of the Hungarian Government, the Ambassadors of the Member States of the Turkic Council, the representatives of the diplomatic corps, academia, the press and the diaspora.