President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedow (L) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Turkmenistan will soon open an embassy in Hungary, and the Hungarian government has made a similar decision, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced in Istanbul on Thursday.
Speaking at a ministerial-level meeting of the Organization of Turkic States on economic and trade issues, the minister stated that Uzbekistan’s embassy in Budapest and Hungary’s embassy in Tashkent opened this year, fulfilling the 2018 commitment to have diplomatic representation in all member states of the organization and vice versa.
In this context, Péter Szijjártó announced that
Turkmenistan, which like Hungary has observer status in the organization, will also open an embassy in Hungary, and the Hungarian government has taken the same decision.
He stressed that misguided European measures had done much to damage cooperation between East and West in recent years, and that the Organization of Turkic States could therefore be an important platform for “bridge-building.”
FactThe Organization of Turkic States is an intergovernmental organization comprising prominent independent Turkic countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Its aim is promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking states. First proposed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2006, it was founded on October 3, 2009, in Nakhchivan. Hungary, Northern Cyprus, and Turkmenistan are observer states to the organization.
President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedow visited Hungary in August and held talks with the Hungarian Prime Minister on energy security issues.
Negotiations are under way with Turkmenistan on a comprehensive energy cooperation agreement, an essential element of which is that Hungary should be one of the destinations for future Turkmen gas exports.
During the meeting it was also mentioned that there are still untapped opportunities for cooperation in the fields of health, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food, water, education, and culture.
Regarding trade between the two countries, the Hungarian Oeconomus Economic Research Institute wrote in an analysis that Hungary exports mainly pharmaceuticals and electronic equipment to Turkmenistan, while fertilizers account for 99% of imports. At the same time, Turkmenistan is also a key energy hub, with the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, potentially providing a solution to diversify domestic energy supplies.
Featured photo via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán