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Pazar, Haziran 23, 2024

BUDAPEST TALKS: Focus On Bilateral Issues, Sweden, Turkiye EU Accession

Mutlaka Oku

By Janet Ekstract

ISTANBUL- On Sunday, Turkish President Erdogan met with the president and prime minister of Hungary in Budapest for a one-day trip. Erdogan met Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a closed-door meeting for a comprehensive discussion focusing on bilateral ties as well as regional and international challenges. Erdogan was accompanied by a delegation of ministers who all attended Hungary’s Founding Day celebrations and the World Athletics Championships with participation of Turkish athletes. The Turkish president was expected to hold sideline talks with leaders of Serbia, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, in addition to top officials from Bosnia-Herzogovina who all attended Hungary’s celebrations and events on August 20.

There were bilateral talks with a number of regional leaders and Orban chaired delegation meetings with ministers. Sweden’s accession to NATO as well as Turkiye’s accession to the EU were several issues that were discussed. Top Hungarian officials said that constant consultation and dialogue is going on concerning the issue of Sweden’s NATO bid and that leaders will be informed of Hungary’s progress on national parliamentary procedures. The Turkish Parliament returns to business in October which is when Erdogan is expected to put Sweden’s bid to a vote with parliament. Orban and Erdogan also discussed energy cooperation between their two countries which is already underway with several projects. The two leaders also cooperate in other diverse areas such as technology, agriculture and trade.

Ever since the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council was created in 2013, both countries have ramped up ties with cooperation in a number of fields on the rise. Erdogan and Orban are known to have a close personal friendship with Orban being a major ally for Turkiye. In an interview with Hungary’s state radio on Friday, Orban called the leaders he invited to Hungary “political friends.” He added that the athletic championships is a nice backdrop for bilateral meetings and talks with international business contacts, China included. Orban labeled the meetings as “a more or less covert series of diplomatic meetings.” The Turkish president’s delegation included Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar, Youth and Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak, Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacir, Minister of Commerce Omer Bolat. In addition, Fahrettin Atltun, chief of the Presidency Communication Directorate and Erdogan’s chief adviser Akif Cagatay Kilic were in the delegation.

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