Budapest is Now A “Must-Visit” City, Says Orbán

  • 21 Aug 2023 9:30 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Budapest is Now A “Must-Visit” City, Says Orbán
PM Orbán said the World Athletics Championships and other similar top sporting events sent a message to the world that Budapest is “must-visit” city.

He said sports events were a boon economically but more importantly focused the world’s attention on the host country. 

The prime minister noted that he will host a dozen official bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the athletics championships and the August 20 national holiday, referring to meetings with the Turkish president, the Serbian president and the Emir of Qatar and “political friends” from the Central Asia region such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.

Meetings will also take place with business representatives from all over the world, largely from western Europe and China, he said.

Szijjártó: World Athletics Venue For Frenzy Of Diplomatic Activity

The World Athletics Championships starting in Budapest on Saturday will bring a frenzy of diplomatic activity to Budapest, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said.

Among others, the presidents of Serbia, Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as the emir of Qatar are scheduled to pay working visits during the championships, the minister told a press conference.

The programme will also include talks with several Western Balkan leaders such as the president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, a representative of the presidency of Bosnia, as well as former heads of state from Czechia, Austria, and Slovenia, he said.

Szijjártó highlighted recent “environmentally friendly, sustainable, and large-scale sports infrastructure developments” which have created suitable conditions to host “one of the world’s largest sports events”, and called those efforts “the shared achievement of all Hungarians”.

The championships being hosted in Hungary are “especially important now, when sports could lead to cooperation and links between nations at a time of conflict and war”.

The world being divided into blocs again was “bad news”, he said, adding however that “the news about new links can best be conveyed by sports”.

Concerning the agenda for prime ministerial talks during the championships, Szijjártó said energy supplies, physical security — focusing on the war in Ukraine and migration — as well as fighting economic difficulties would be on the agenda. Referring to Qatar, Szijjártó noted the country is the world’s largest LNG exporter, and could offer LNG supplies to Hungary from 2027.

He added that relevant talks are under way. Hungary and Qatar are in close cooperation in international organisations, and are planning to sign a diplomatic cooperation agreement, he added.

Issues around energy supplies will also be in the focus of talks with the presidents of Azerbaijan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, and Serbia, Szijjártó said. Türkiye is already key for Hungary in terms of natural gas deliveries, while its role will further increase when resources from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are involved, he said.

Talks on purchasing natural gas from Türkiye are “at an advanced stage”, with an actual agreement in sight after the August 20 talks, he added.

Szijjártó noted that 100 million cubic meters of Azeri natural gas will be delivered this year, and supply of 50 million cubic meters of gas for storage in Hungary is under way as part of a previous agreement, adding that diversification was now becoming “a physical reality”.

Talks with Turkmenistan on a wide-ranging energy cooperation deal are also under way, he said, adding that Hungary would be among target countries for future Turkmen gas exports.

Also, a Hungary-Serbia regional natural gas trading company will start operating in September and would contribute to the region’s energy security, he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on Republika Srpska in Bosnia, Szijjártó said attempts were being made in the West, “by actors of the international liberal mainstream”, to disable its elected leaders, which he termed “extremely dangerous … due to the risk of destabilisation and unrest”.

He said pressure was being put on the Bosnian-Serb president in respect of the functioning of the Bosnian Constitutional Court.

Photo by Krénn Imre Photography

Related links

WAC: Foreign Spectators from 100 Countries - Mainly Germany, Israel, UK - Expected for World Athletics Week in Budapest

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this newsletter published on week days covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI.

Explore More Reports