Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary sends further aid to earthquake-hit Turkiye

Hungary has sent 10 tonnes of aid to southeast Turkiye to help with the medical treatment and temporary housing of people hit by earthquakes earlier this month, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a joint press conference held with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara on Monday.
27. February 2023 16:43

A series of quakes rocked southeast Turkiye and northern Syria on February 6, killing more than 50,000 people.

Hungary rushed to the aid of the “brotherly nation” right after the disaster “when the focus was on saving lives”, Szijjarto said. It sent 167 rescue experts and 29 dogs who found 35 survivors, he said.

To support the people who lost their homes in the disaster, Hungary is now sending a military aircraft with “1.5 tonnes of medicine, 500 camp beds, 1,500 blankets, 6,000 sleeping bags and 2,000 pieces of IV equipment” to help Turkiye’s government in housing and protecting people from the winter, he said.

Hungary and Turkiye are also in talks on delivery of medical equipment that may be needed if the demand for hospital treatment grows, he said. “Hungary is ready to send the new package as soon as the Turkish authorities have listed the equipment needed,” he said.

“Hungary is a friend of Turkiye’s. It is only natural that we stand by our friends in hardship, and will continue to provide all aid in our power to help the Turkish people’s life to get back on track as soon as possible,” he said.

As an example of the strategic partnership between the two countries, Szijjarto said Hungarian energy security would be “an unrealistic expectation” without Turkiye, where the TurkStream pipeline is currently supplying the “majority of Hungarian demand in natural gas”. Future plans for energy diversification, involving imports from Azerbaijan, would also be impossible without Turkiye, and talks are under way on purchases form Turkish distributors, he said.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, Hungary and Turkiye’s governments will continue to be vocal proponents of peace, Szijjarto said.

“This is a critical issue for us, neighbours of Ukraine,” he said. Turkiye’s call for peace is “greatly appreciated as we Hungarians have a vested interest in a speedy end to the war, which is the only way to save lives,” he said.

Hungary wants an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, an undertaking that is far from hopeless, as proven by the talks on the restart of Ukrainian grain deliveries last year in which Ankara played a primary role, he said.

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