Speaker Laszlo Kover - Photo: MTI

Kover meets Kyrgyz counterpart in Budapest

Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover met his Kyrgyz counterpart, Nurlanbek Turgunbekovich Shakiev, in Budapest on Monday, and said that Hungary continued to see "developing the eastern network" as a priority.

Hungary is ready to step up its ties with Kyrgyzstan, the country’s strategic partner since 2020, he said. Besides shared cultural and historic roots and varied political ties, educational and economic cooperation are also thriving, Kover said, according to a statement of the parliament’s press office. That cooperation had been boosted by opening embassies in each other’s capitals, and the two countries have set up a joint economic committee headed by the two foreign ministers, he said.

The Organization of Turkic States has opened a representation in Budapest, further boosting cooperation with the region, he added.

Kover said Kyrgyzstan and Hungary both valued the freedom they had achieved more than 30 years ago, and wouldn’t sacrifice it “for any cooperation”. Hungary envisions the European Union as a community of sovereign states, “despite recent attempts to turn it into a centralised empire”, he added.

Just as Kyrgyzstan, Hungary valued traditional values such as the family, the nation and religious roots, he said. “Based on those shared values, Hungary is ready to represent and help the central Asian country’s attempts to forge closer ties with the EU.”

Shakiev said the energy sector, infrastructure development and tourism offered opportunities for closer cooperation with Hungary. He said a direct Budapest-Bishkek flight would have beneficial effects on those sectors.

Kyrgyzstan sees Hungary, its only strategic partner among EU member states, as “the gateway to the EU”, he said. He thanked Hungary for a grant programme offering stipends for 200 Kyrgyz students wishing to study in Hungary.

The talks were also attended by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Sandor Lezsak and lawmaker Sandor F Kovacs, the head of parliament’s Hungarian-Kyrgyz friendship group.

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