Stronger cooperation between Turkey, Hungary expected in 2019

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 12.02.2019 00:21

Turkey and Hungary will further improve bilateral cooperation in 2019, Hungary's newly appointed ambassador to Ankara said.

"It is a great honor, opportunity and responsibility for me to become the Hungarian ambassador to Ankara," Viktor Matis, who recently presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, told Anadolu Agency (AA).

"Cooperation and relations between our two countries are so important and are rapidly growing. There are many things to be done and opportunities ahead of us," he said.

On the deep-rooted relations between the two nations, he said many Hungarian experts came to Turkey when the republic was founded in 1920 and contributed to its development.

Stressing the widespread cooperation between the two nations since the 20th century, Matis said Hungary was one of the first countries to open an embassy in Ankara.

He said a strategic cooperation agreement in 2013 upgraded the relations to a strategic level, and a High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council was also established the same year.

"We are preparing for its fourth meeting in Budapest this year," Matis said, adding that no date has been chosen, but President Erdoğan is set to attend.

Saying that many high-level bilateral meetings are coming up, he added: "Hungary will be represented by Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto at the Turkey-Hungary Second Africa Business Forum, which will be held in Istanbul on Feb. 12-13."

Matis also praised Turkey's activities in Africa, saying his country wanted to support these.

He added that Hungary wants to cooperate with Turkey in developing defense goods, and the topic is being discussed between the both nations.

In October 2018, Erdoğan paid a two-day official visit to Hungary. During his visit, Erdoğan said: "The bilateral ties between Turkey and Hungary have seen excellent development over the years. We will continue our cooperation with various committees."

Noting that they have achieved a tremendous relationship and momentum in Turkish-Hungarian relations, Erdoğan recalled that they paid a high number of high-level visits between the two countries, adding he visited Budapest twice in 2005 and in 2013 during his time as prime minister.

Mentioning how Hungary is now an observer country for the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council), Matis said they would take steps to improve cooperation in that field.

"Hungary will open a Turkic Council communication office in Budapest. This is very important because we're not a member of the council," he said, adding that a former ambassador to Ankara was already appointed council chairman.

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