The foreign minister said Hungary and Kyrgyzstan have recently lifted their cooperation to a strategic partnership and have taken the decisions needed to further advance their relations.
Speaking in Bishkek on Tuesday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Central Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions and will continue to be a key destination when it comes to Hungary’s foreign trade aspirations. The Hungarian-Kyrgyz development fund recently began operations, Minister Szijjártó said, adding that the Hungarian government had contributed five billion forints (EUR 13.2m) to it with a view to supporting investments by Hungarian companies in Kyrgyzstan. Preparations on the first projects are underway, with Hungary and Kyrgyzstan engaged in advanced talks on the construction of hydropower plants, the delivery of live animals, the export of ATMs and the construction of irrigation and sewage systems, Minister Szijjártó said. The foundations for such investments are solid, Szijjártó said, noting that bilateral trade turnover last year increased by 47 percent, exceeding 12 million dollars.
As regards the war in Ukraine, Minister Szijjártó said the conflict was also affecting Hungarian-Kyrgyz relations, noting that a direct air link between Budapest and Bishkek had yet to be established due to the crisis. Minister Szijjártó underlined the importance of preventing security threats in Central Asia, preventing Afghanistan from becoming a source of migration waves, waging a successful fight against terrorism and putting a stop to the spread of extremist ideologies. Minister Szijjártó urged greater European Union support for Kyrgyzstan’s efforts in this area and called on the bloc to sign a cooperation agreement with Kyrgyzstan as soon as possible. He said the EU should also double its financial support for the border protection efforts of Central Asian countries.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter