Viktor Orbán in Ankara

The fifth session of the Hungary – Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council was held in Ankara during which Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took stock of the situation of the relations between the two countries, and discussed recent regional and international issues. After the bilateral negotiations the Prime Minister of Hungary participated in the summit of the Cooperation Council of the Turkic Speaking States in Istanbul.

Before the session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Recep Erdogan planted the tree of Hungarian – Turkish friendship in the garden of the Presidential Palace in Ankara. During the joint press conference after the meeting, Viktor Orbán said that Hungary was asking Brussels for more and indirect financial assistance for Turkey in its fight against migration. He also underlined that the European Union should support the erecting of walls on the Southern and Eastern borders of Turkey, as well as the establishing of stability in Northern Syria. The Prime Minister of Hungary stressed that Europe is threatened by migration from three directions – from the Mediterranean, the Western Balkans and Belarus. Viktor Orbán added that Turkey would be sending fifty border guards to protect the borders of Hungary. However, besides migration, there are three further serious crises threatening Europe – a crisis of public health, an economic one and yet another concerning the supply of energy.

Concerning the struggle against the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister of Hungary reminded of the fact that during the pandemic the bilateral trade between Hungary and Turkey, far from decreasing, rose by thirty percent and reached almost USD4 billion. At the same time, he recalled that at the beginning of the pandemic when the most fundamental tools of protection, like masks were in short supply, Ankara delivered basic material to Hungary and in this way contributed to the manufacturing of masks in our country.

In connection with the economic crisis, Viktor Orbán announced that the Government of Hungary had decided to overcome the crisis with the help of investments for which foreign investors are needed. He indicated that it was a great success that one of the largest packaging companies in the world was implementing the most significant Hungarian – Turkish investments of all times in the value of HUF70 billion not far from Kaposvár.

The Prime Minister added that the cooperation in nuclear energy would be continued in the fields of science, research and training. Hungary has raised the number of scholarships for students from Turkey from 150 to 200. Part of this contingent will be specifically available to students of nuclear energy. The bilateral meeting of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Recep Erdogan has reaffirmed the common goal of Hungary deepening her relations with her strategic partner and ally, as well as our strengthening the cooperation in the field of multilateral relations, especially in NATO and the Turkic Council.

Several ministers of the Government of Hungary also took part in the bilateral meeting as members of the delegation. Viktor Orbán was accompanied by Minister for Defense Tibor Benkő, Minister for Human Resources Miklós Kásler, Minister responsible for families Katalin Novák, Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér, Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, as well as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó. After the talks, the members of the Hungarian Government signed nine agreements on cooperation in the fields of the military, science, industry, culture, technology, tourism, as well as sports and the life of young people. During the visit, the Hungarian delegation returned 101 ancient artifacts to Turkey that had been confiscated by the Hungarian authorities at the border in 2016.

The Hungary – Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council has been working since 2013.

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