Hungary can offer the Turkic Council a bridgehead to Europe and the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Baku on Tuesday.
Addressing the 7th Turkic Council summit, Orbán said Hungary was fighting to get the enlargement and neighborhood policy portfolio in the new European Commission.
“Our chances are not bad, but it’s a tough battle,” he said. “If we succeed … then there will be close cooperation with Azerbaijan within the Eastern Partnership and [EU] membership negotiations with Turkey.”
“We will be pleased to be at your service,” he added.
Orbán noted that Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a credit line with Turkic Council member states, adding that 195 million euros was available for Hungarian-Turkish cooperation and 80 million euros each for Hungary’s Kazakh, Uzbek and Azeri business ties. Those with Kyrgyzstan will have a pot of 27 million euros available.
He noted that trade between Hungary and the member states of the Turkic Council had doubled to 4 billion US dollars under his watch. Orbán also noted the recent establishment of a European representation of the Turkic Council in Budapest.
Further, Hungary provides more than 700 state scholarships to young people from the countries of the Turkic Council, he added.
Meanwhile, Orbán told the summit that the UK would leave the EU at the end of October. He encouraged Turkic Council members to be quick to start talks with the British on new trade deals.
Members of the Turkic Council include Turkey as well as Turkic countries Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan became a full member of the organisation at the Baku meeting. Hungary has had observer status in the Council since 2018.