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Hungary is initiating a high-level summit of the leaders of the Turkic Council and the Visegrad Group (V4) in Budapest in the first half of 2022, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the summit of the Turkic Council in Istanbul on Friday. Addressing the summit, Orbán noted that Hungary is holding the presidency of the Visegrad Group it forms with the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia until July 1 next year. The prime minister also touched on the shared historical and cultural heritage of the Hungarian and Turkic peoples, saying Hungarians were proud of that heritage. As regards Hungary’s previous commitments to the Turkic Council, Orbán said Hungary had elevated its ties with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to a strategic partnership and had opened an embassy in Bishkek. Concerning education ties, he said Hungary has increased the number of scholarships it offers to university students from the Turkic countries to 870. Turning to economic relations, Orbán said Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 545 million dollar credit line to help finance business cooperation and Hungary and Kyrgyzstan last week launched a 16 million dollar joint development fund. Orbán said the Hungarian government supported the establishment of a Turkic investment fund and asked the council to enable Hungary to join it once it is set up. Hungary is prepared to contribute to the fund’s capital, he added.
As regards the situation in Afghanistan, Orbán said Europe was facing an “unprecedented challenge” when it came to migration and for the first time was under pressure from three directions. Stopping the emergence of new migration waves from Afghanistan, he added, was a fundamental security interest for Hungary. The prime minister assured the Turkic Council that he would not approve any European Union decision that ignores the security interests of the Turkic countries.