In remarks delivered earlier today at the summit of the Organization of Turkic States, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that while the EU has gotten caught up in the escalation of international institutions becoming increasingly politicized, with “meaningful dialogue based on common sense” less and less of a possibility, Hungary sees maintaining East-West cooperation as a strategic priority.
The summit kicked off this morning in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The Organization of Turkic States consists of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, with Hungary and Turkmenistan as observer members.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó are attending the event, supported by a nearly 60-member Hungarian delegation.
The slogan of the summit is to strengthen “common development and prosperity” and open “a new era of Turkic civilization.” In line with this, PM Orbán said that Hungary “fully supports the work of the Organization of Turkic States and will work to ensure that the Turkic vision is successfully implemented in the next decade.” He also thanked participants for their actions and statements in favor of peace in Ukraine, calling the summit a “forum for peace.”
PM Orbán said that Hungary remains committed to achieving a ceasefire in Ukraine as soon as possible, as peace talks are “the only way to end the energy crisis.”
Regarding specific steps Hungary will take towards East-West cooperation following the first set of negotiations on Thursday, PM Orbán announced that Hungarian bank OTP will soon acquire a major Uzbek bank; Hungary will also invest in the local pharmaceutical industry, with the aim of setting up a manufacturing base in Uzbekistan. In addition, negotiations bore fruit related to economic and energy cooperation, as well as closer relations in culture and education.
PM Orbán said that Hungary will join the proposals to facilitate and speed up trade, and it supports the establishment of the Turkic Investment Fund. The Hungarian prime minister thanked participants as well for their contribution to the establishment of the Institute for Drought Prevention in Hungary.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Orbán praised Turkey for its role in securing Hungary's energy supply. “Hungary is already paying a high price for its energy supply, and our security of supply is conditional on the natural gas pipeline running through Turkey, which is the only pipeline in the East-West direction operating at full capacity,” he said.
The prime minister thanked Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, saying that Azerbaijan is the only realistic diversification option for Hungary in terms of access to gas from non-Russian sources. Additionally, Baku supports the initiative to bring green electricity from Azerbaijan to Europe in the framework of Azerbaijani-Georgian-Romanian-Hungarian cooperation.
Commenting on the Hungarian prime minister's statements, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who hosted the summit, said that it was important to hear about the situation in Europe. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov thanked Hungary for its active involvement in strengthening the integration of the Turkic world at both a regional and international level.