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Azerbaijan is an “esteemed partner in military and defence areas and in terms of the defence industry”, the defence minister said in Budapest.

Cooperation between Hungary and Azerbaijan is “extremely diverse” involving such areas as pharmaceuticals, food production and farming, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovinczky said after meeting Zakir Hasanov, his Azerbaijani counterpart, for talks. Noting the two countries’ strategic partnership established last year, Szalay-Bobrovinczky said energy was a key area and called Azerbaijan “one of Europe’s most important partners to ensure its energy security”. He said the upcoming Hungarian EU presidency would pay increased attention to cooperation between the bloc and its eastern partners, with special regard to Azerbaijan. The two ministers discussed the war in Ukraine, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, adding that both countries were “committed to achieving an immediate peace and de-escalation of the war”. Concerning the South Caucasus, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said peace in the region depended on relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, adding that “Hungary strives for a constructive balance”.