Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary backs efforts to restore peace, order in Kazakhstan

Hungary's government supports efforts to restore peace and order in Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday, adding that stability in Central Asia was in Hungary's interest.

The past several years have shown that the situation of the Central Asian region has a fundamental impact on the security of Europe and specifically central Europe, the foreign ministry cited Szijjarto as saying in a video call with the foreign ministers of the Organization of Turkic States, in which Hungary has observer status.

“Our interests lie in a peaceful and stable Central Asia,” Szijjarto said. “Attempts at destabilisation and coups run completely counter to our security interests, since they end up making more room for acts of terror and the spread of radical and extremist ideologies, which tends to lead to the emergence of large migration waves from various regions.”

Szijjarto said the members of the Organization of Turkic States passed a joint declaration at their virtual meeting in which they condemned “violence and vandalism” in Kazakhstan, expressed their solidarity with the Kazakh people as well as their sympathies over the death toll in the wake of the upheaval in the country.

As regards the violent protests, Szijjarto said: “We know very well from experience what tends to happen in these instances on the international political scene. We usually see so-called human rights groups and certain countries wanting to level criticism and approve declarations condemning the situation.”

“But there’s no place for those this time,” the minister said, adding that the international community should instead work to prevent a repeat of “similar worrying and violent developments”.

Those responsible for any form of violence must not be absolved and terrorist groups and organisations spreading extremist ideology must not be given space to operate, he added.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said the recent developments in Kazakhstan had also demonstrated the importance of economic development schemes in the region, arguing that it was economic progress that provided the foundations of stability and peace. Hungary’s government therefore supports the creation of a Turkic investment fund, which could help launch further investment projects in Central Asia, he said.

Szijjarto also said that a military plane carrying Hungarian citizens evacuated from Kazakhstan landed in Kecskemet, in central Hungary, on Monday night.

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