Péter Szijjártó in Ankara

It was emphasized by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in Ankara that the development of the cooperation between Hungary and Turkey has always been in the focus of Hungary’s foreign policy, and this is not going to change in the future either. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Turkey, Mehmet Muş signed the founding declaration of the Hungarian – Turkish Economic and Trade Committee. Péter Szijjártó also held talks with Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the foreign minister of the Republic of Turkey.

During the joint press conference, held after the signing ceremony, Péter Szijjártó said: in 2021, the economy of both Hungary and Turkey broke their historical records in exports. Turkey realized EUR225 billion and Hungary EUR119 billion in global exports. With this, Hungary reached the 34th place in the world, while taking into consideration its population, it is only number 95. Last year the volume of trade between Hungary and Turkey also broke a record. What is more, the USD3.8 billion volume of bilateral trade means an increase of 15 percent compared to 2020. The export of Hungary to Turkey in 2021 reached a volume of USD2.5 billion which means an increase of 21 percent.

In his remarks at the joint press conference, the head of Hungarian diplomacy outlined seven steps concerning the development of economic cooperation between the two countries. He pointed out that Budapest and Ankara have established the Operative Working Group in order to enhance the cooperation in the economy and trade. It was also announced that the Government of Hungary will support the HUF100 billion investment of the Turkish company Şişecam in Kaposvár with HUF14 billion. The Eximbank of Hungary has opened a credit line of EUR105 million in order to finance the cooperation among the Hungarian and Turkish companies. The investment of the Hungarian company Medicor in Turkey, producing medical equipment, is also going on with the support of the Government of Hungary. Furthermore, the Government of Hungary offers assistance to the Hungarian companies trying to enter the Turkish market in the field of building power plants, water management and the printing industry.

Péter Szijjártó reminded the press of the fact that in order to secure the continuous flow of cargo traffic, fifty customs officers from Turkey are working at the crossing points of the Hungarian–Romanian and the Hungarian–Serbian border, most frequently used by haulers from Turkey. The Ministers of Transport of Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia are to establish a Working Group on Railroads, since because of the situation in Ukraine transport between the East and the West has become partly impossible, partly it is facing extraordinary challenges. At the end of his remarks, Péter Szijjártó indicated that due to the increasing significance of Turkey in world politics and economy, Hungary will raise the number of its diplomats serving in Turkey.

During the press conference after his talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the head of Hungarian diplomacy underlined that among the economic and security challenges posed by the war in Ukraine, the strategic partnership between the two countries is becoming more and more precious. He pointed out that the role of Turkey in handling these challenges is becoming stronger, and Hungary highly appreciates its efforts to mediate between the sides and promote peace talks. Péter Szijjártó stressed that by today Turkey has become extremely important from the point of view of gas transport as well. The energy supply of Hungary from the direction of Russia has been going on smoothly, under the terms of the relevant contract and according to schedule. In this, Turkey too is playing an important role, since at the moment it is the route through which ten million cubic meters of natural gas is transported to Hungary every day.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu underscored that there is deep friendship and strategic partnership between Hungary and Turkey, and our relations have been developing in all fields. The Foreign Minister added that Hungary is one of the greatest supporters of promoting the EU accession process of Turkey.

During the day, the foreign ministers of Hungary and Turkey jointly laid the foundation stone of the new building of the Embassy of Hungary in Ankara. It was here that Péter Szijjártó pointed out that during his term as minister of foreign affairs and trade, the number of Hungarian diplomats working in the country has been doubled, and that this process will continue. As he put it: “For those who have been watching world politics, it is unambiguous that the political and economic weight of Turkey has been continuously increasing.” He also pointed out that in the future this fact will bring even more tasks for the diplomacy of Hungary.

Besides the above, Péter Szijjártó also warned: the terrorist organization of the Islamic State has called on its followers to commit further assassinations in Europe, and this further increases the importance of protecting the borders and of actions against illegal migration. He said: “We, naturally, strongly protect our borders, and will not allow illegal migrants to enter Hungary in the future either. In this issue, Turkey is also playing a key role.” For this reason, he asked the EU not to “haggle with Turkey” but disburse it the promised sum in full.

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