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Türkiye is a strategic partner of primary importance for Hungary, with long-established defence and military ties, the defence minister said after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Güler, in Budapest. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said the talks focused on defence and security cooperation. Türkiye is a member of the NATO command deployed to Hungary, and is currently participating in Adaptive Hussars 23, the largest international military exercise of the past 30 years, he added. Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Türkiye was “an extremely important player” in regional security policy, and “its counsel is indispensable regarding the conflicts threatening our security”. A NATO member and a “leading nation in the region”, Türkiye’s stance on the war in Ukraine was similar to that of Hungary, he said. Both countries are committed to promoting an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, and to avoiding escalation and further sacrifice, he said. Hungary and the region has a vital interest in peace and strengthening economic and trade ties, he added. Hungary and Türkiye also agree that NATO, the largest defence alliance in the world, should prioritise the monitoring of terror threats, he said. Hungary also has an interest in preserving stability in Africa, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said. As part of a complex aid package, it is deploying a military mission to Chad next spring, with an aim of solving problems locally rather than importing them into Europe, he added. The ministers also agreed on the importance of stability in the Western Balkans, a region where both countries deploy troops to NATO operations. Regarding the defence industry, Szalay-Bobrovniczky briefed Güler on the modernisation of Hungary’s Armed Forces, including equipping the entire army with NATO compatible equipment as well as an expansion of the defence industry to ensure supplies and contribute to the country’s economic growth, he said. It was recently announced that Gidran armed vehicles will soon be manufactured in Hungary, he noted. One of the most important vehicles of the Hungarian Armed Forces will be manufactured with a Turkish licence, further strengthening bilateral ties, he added.
Güler called talks “honest and constructive”. Türkiye sees its cooperation with Hungary, “a friendly and brotherly ally”, as especially important, he said.
He said he and Szalay-Bobrovniczky had reviewed the two countries’ bilateral ties, security issues in the Euro-Atlantic region as well as issues regarding their NATO membership. They also expressed their commitment to strengthening cooperation in the defence industry and other sectors. He praised “the development of … Hungary and its Armed Forces”, and invited his Hungarian counterpart to a visit in Türkiye.