FM: Turkey Key to Handling Energy Supply Crisis in Hungary & Europe

  • 1 Feb 2023 9:47 AM
  • Hungary Matters
FM: Turkey Key to Handling Energy Supply Crisis in Hungary & Europe
Turkey is key to handling the energy supply crisis hitting Europe and Hungary, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said. The TurkStream pipeline remains the only east-west pipeline on the continent operating at full capacity, he said.

Diversification, a key concept for energy security in the future, is dependent to a large extent on Azeri resources which would also be delivered via Turkey, he said.

Talks are under way on increasing Hungary’s access to Turkish gas lines to deliver Azeri gas that way, he said. Meanwhile, Europe would be unable to handle another global challenge, illegal migration, without Turkey, Szijjártó said.

Hungary is under significant pressure: Hungarian authorities have thwarted 260,000 attempts at illegal entry last year only, he said. He called on the international community to enable Syrian refugees in Turkey to return to their homelands.

“That would be key to Turkey’s peace, stability and calm, but also an important European measure against migration,” he said. Elevating the level of cooperation between Hungary and Turkey would help Hungary tackle all three challenges, Szijjártó said.

The agreement could be signed “at the next high-level meeting”, he said. Responding to a question on the NATO integration of Finland and Sweden, Szijjártó said the Hungarian parliament will table the ratification document in February.

At the same time, he said he would “not rush Turkey on the issue, as Hungary never rushes other countries on matters unrelated to Hungary.” He called burning of the Koran at a Swedish protest was “unacceptable”.

The Swedish statement that the gesture was an act protected by the principle of free speech was “stupid”, he said. “Countries looking to join NATO with Turkish support should act more carefully,” he said.

Szijjártó: Hungary, Turkey to Step Up Cooperation

Hungary and Turkey are about to sign an agreement on “priority strategic cooperation”, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Tuesday, after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Szijjártó told a joint press conference that Turkey’s role in tackling global challenges had grown in recent years. Regarding the war in Ukraine, he said that Hungary, as a neighbour of Ukraine, “feels all negative effects of the war gravely and palpably”, so it has a vested interest in peace.

“Unfortunately, we must note that very few in the Transatlantic world … talk about or act for peace.” Speaking of peace “requires courage, as it brings on the relentless criticism from the liberal mainstream, which paints those involved as Putin’s allies, Russophiles and Kremlin propagandists,” he said.

Referring to an agreement on restarting grain deliveries from Ukraine, Szijjártó said Turkey’s successful mediation had shown that negotiation was the only way to end the war.

He said Attila Tilki, a lawmaker of ruling Fidesz and a member of a council within the Organisation of Turkic States that has recommended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the Nobel Peace Prize. Erdoğan, he added, was the only successful negotiator in respect of the war so far.

Orbán Meets Turkish Foreign Minister in Budapest

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday, to discuss further strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, the PM’s press chief said.

Hungary is committed to further strengthening economic ties with Turkey, and is working to increase trade volume to an annual 6 billion dollars, Bertalan Havasi cited Orbán as saying.

Turkey’s stability and security are key to Europe’s stability and security, Orbán said at the meeting held in his office in Budapest, and he called on the European Union to support the country in handling challenges connected to migration.

Orbán and Çavuşoğlu agreed that the international community should be striving for a speedy, peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. Çavuşoğlu arrived in Hungary at the invitation of Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.

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