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

Szijjarto: Hungary, Turkiye cooperating to promote peace in Ukraine

Hungary and Turkiye are strengthening cooperation to make sure that "peace returns to the agenda of international organisations", the foreign minister said in Washington, DC on Wednesday.
10. July 2024 21:01

According to a ministry statement, Peter Szijjarto told the NATO summit that Hungary and Turkiye “have had highest-level talks within the framework of the peace mission launched after [Hungary] took over the European presidency.”

He said Turkiye was the only country whose efforts to mediate between Ukraine and Russia had been successful, and the resulting agreement on grain helped stave off a food-supply crisis in several places around the world.

“In the coming period we’ll coordinate our work even more with Turkiye … to make sure that peace at least will be included on the agenda of international organisations,” he said.

He called it “problematic” that international organisations, including the NATO summit, were “abuzz with discussions” on war. “Peace as an expression has become as good as illegitimate in those organisations.”

Those bringing up peace, he said, had been stigmatised and “labelled everything from Putin’s puppet to a Trojan horse, Russian agent and a propagandist of the Kremlin.”

Erdogan, too, recently met Russian President Vladimir Putin, so “Budapest and Ankara both have as much information on the war as possible.”

Hungary and Turkiye agree on the importance of a peace conference with both warring side in attendance, Szijjarto said. The peace conference in Switzerland, he added, showed that “it’s impossible to find a solution if only one warring party is present”.

He said the past two and a half years showed that the Western strategy had failed. Compared with the situation at the start of the war, “we must say the situation is much worse now… Who knows how many dead, millions of refugees, a country largely in ruins, a deteriorating situation at the front, increasingly cruel and brutal war events, an mounting threat of escalation; that’s where we are right now,” he said.

“We need a strategy that opens communication channels and restores the legitimacy of diplomacy,” he added.

Speaking about a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Szijjarto said the talks were important “because both countries want peace and they are constantly under political attack for that. Those attacks will not deter us from representing the cause of peace and national interests,” he said.

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