Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, handed over the Order of Merit of Hungary, Middle Cross with Star, civilian division, to his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday, for “deepening the friendship between the two countries”.
During the ceremony, Minister Szijjártó referred to the “unprecedented challenges” of the recent past, such as the financial, migration, and health crises, as well as the war in Ukraine. “When such troubles occur … you will know who is a true friend,” Minister Szijjártó said, adding that Çavuşoğlu had “always been a true friend to Hungary and hopefully he will stay so.” Minister Szijjártó said he had met his counterpart in 2015 for the first time, for talks on a possible transit for Hungary’s gas supplies through Turkey, which “seemed utopistic at the time”. “But today, if it was not for the Turk Stream pipeline, we could not import gas via Turkey, and could not talk about a secure energy supply for Hungary,” he insisted. Among the achievements, he also mentioned lifting the visa requirement between the two countries. “Another important cornerstone of our friendship is that both countries’ foreign strategies are built on mutual respect,” Minister Szijjártó said, adding that while Turkey was a world power, during his talks he had never felt that “representatives of countries from two different dimensions are talking to each other”.