Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (r) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Photo: PMO

Hungary to foster cooperation between EU and Organisation of Turkic States

Hungary will strive to foster cooperation between the European Union and the Organisation of Turkic States during its EU presidency starting in July, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Tuesday after meeting Kubanitsbek Omuraliyev, the organisation's chief.

Hungary prizes its observer status in the organisation, given today’s heightened geopolitical challenges which have enhanced the role of Central Asia and the Turkic world, Szijjarto said at a joint press conference.

New East-West trade routes are emerging, and the region offers alternative energy sources, he said, noting the fallout of the war in Ukraine and related sanctions.

The EU can benefit and boost its competitiveness by enhancing its cooperation with Turkic states. The minister added that a relevant agreement and schedule was signed on Tuesday.

Szijjarto noted a more than doubling of trade turnover with Turkic states since 2010, the value of which exceeded 5 billion US dollars for the first time last year.

Fully 1,040 students from Turkic member countries can study in Hungary each year with a scholarship, and more than 5,100 applied for places this year, he noted.

Hungary is contributing 100 million US dollars, in line with a previous commitment, to a new investment fund of the organisation, he said.

Szijjarto referred to “one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions”, saying that opportunities abounded for Hungary in joining in developments there through the investment fund, as well as in attracting new resources to the Hungarian economy.

The Organisation of Turkish States’ European headquarters is located in Budapest, he noted. It operates a drought prevention centre here, with the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences carrying out its professional work. This, he added, provides a basis for Hungarian water industry and agricultural technologies to be taken up in Central Asia, which faces many related challenges.

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