President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban had talks on Friday, 9 June, in Ashgabat.
The parties held talks in a tete-a-tete format and with the participation of the delegations of the two countries in an expanded format.
Following the negotiations, a package of eight documents was signed. Berdymuhamedov and Orban also addressed the press, summarizing the outcomes of the negotiations.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister Viktor Orban exchanged views on the prospects for its further activation in the political, trade, economic and social spheres.
Speaking about the political dimension of the interstate dialogue, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed the effective nature of cooperation in the international arena, primarily within the framework of the UN. Hungary systematically supports Turkmenistan’s neutral course and initiatives aimed at achieving peace and creating the necessary conditions for sustainable development.
The head of Turkmenistan stated that the mutual trade turnover by the results of 2022 showed a significant increase. Turkmenistan is interested in multi-level cooperation with Hungary in various sectors of the economy. Among the promising areas of cooperation are the fuel and energy complex, transport, industrial cooperation, textile industry, agriculture and other industries.
An integral component of the Turkmen-Hungarian relations is the social sphere, including education, science and culture.
Negotiations in an expanded format
Further negotiations continued in an expanded format, with the participation of members of the official delegations of both countries.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed the productivity of the one-on-one talks, which covered a wide range of issues of bilateral relations of mutual interest.
He also proposed to instruct the foreign ministries of the two countries to continue the practice of mutual support for each other’s initiatives within the framework of international organizations.
Trade and economic ties are a key component of the bilateral partnership. In this context, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proposed to instruct the relevant departments of the two states to develop concrete proposals aimed at both boosting mutual trade turnover and balancing export-import indicators.
In addition, it is proposed to pay special attention to the intensification of cooperation in such sectors as energy, transport, pharmaceuticals, textile industry, agriculture and water management, investment activities.
Concerning bilateral economic cooperation, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov offered the consideration of mutual opening of trading houses, representative offices, information and advisory platforms for private sector.
As known, Turkmenistan ranks 4th in the world in terms of natural gas reserves. In this context, the expediency of considering the possibilities of mutually beneficial partnership in this area was noted.
The production of hydrogen from natural gas is a promising and very popular direction now. Turkmenistan is ready to consider specific proposals in this sector.
In this regard, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proposed to instruct the relevant state agencies of the two countries to prepare a list of measures to establish cooperation in the energy sector.
Among the relevant areas of partnership, the transport sector was also identified, which in the light of modern realities is gaining special importance.
Turkmenistan, through Lapis Lazuli and Caspian Sea – Black Sea transport and transit corridors, plays an important connecting role between Asia and Europe. Currently, the Turkmenistan is carrying out procedures for joining the Europe–Caucasus–Asia transport corridor (TRACECA). In this context, it seems appropriate to prepare for signing basic documents on cooperation in the field of transport.
Industrial cooperation is also a promising vector of cooperation.
It was noted that Hungary is a state with a developed industrial and production potential and great technological competencies. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan proposed to consider the prospects of partnership in the field of industrial cooperation through the creation of joint ventures.
In this regard, the relevant agencies of the two countries could develop a list of particular projects and business plans for the study of issues of financial support for the implementation of such projects by related ministries and banking organizations.
The cultural and humanitarian sphere is also an important area of bilateral cooperation.
The outstanding Hungarian researcher and traveler Arminius Vamberi, whose 190th anniversary was widely celebrated in 2022, in his work “Journey through Central Asia”, published in 1864, wrote about the art of the great Turkmen poet and philosopher Magtymguly.
Next year, the 300th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding classic of Turkmen literature and thinker will be celebrated. In this regard, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov invited representatives of Hungary to take part in the anniversary celebrations.
Touching upon the topic of cooperation in the field of education, the head of state expressed gratitude to Hungary for providing quotas for Turkmen citizens in its leading higher educational institutions.
During his remarks, Viktor Orban invited the head of Turkmenistan to visit Hungary.
Bilateral cooperation has great potential, for the optimal use of which there are broad prospects.
In this context, the interest of the Hungarian side in the further development of mutually beneficial partnership with Turkmenistan and with the Central Asian states in general was noted. A positive factor in this direction, which contributed to an increase of economic cooperation with the countries of the region, was the accession of Hungary to the Organization of Turkic States as an observer.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban also noted that the historical and cultural community of the two peoples serves as a good basis for productive Hungarian-Turkmen cooperation.
Orban named the energy sector among the priority areas of economic cooperation. At the same time, the Prime Minister supported the proposals of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to establish mutually beneficial contacts in this direction and develop solutions to relevant issues.
Hungary is also ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan in other sectors of the economy and offer its existing capabilities and technologies for this purpose.
Touching upon the topic of cooperation in the humanitarian field, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that his country is sincerely glad that Turkmen students study at Hungarian universities.
He highly appreciated the proposals of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to study the Hungarian language in one of the higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan and to hold Cultural Days on mutual basis.
It was also noted that Hungary appreciates the peaceful policy of neutral Turkmenistan and will continue to support it on international platforms, including within the framework of the UN.
At the end of the negotiations in an expanded format, the following documents were signed:
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of diplomatic training between the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary;
- Agreement on academic and scientific cooperation between the Myrat Garryev State Medical University of Turkmenistan and Semmelweis University;
- Memorandum of Understanding on scientific and technical cooperation in the field of metrology between the State Reference Center of the Main State Service of Turkmenistan “Turkmenstandartlary” and the Department of Metrology and Technical Control of the Apparatus of the Budapest Metropolitan City Government;
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of water resources management between the State Committee of Water Management of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Hungary;
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation within the framework of the “Stipendium Hungaricum” program for 2024-2026 between the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary;
- Memorandum of Understanding in the field of tourism between the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and the Hungarian Tourism Agency;
- Cultural Cooperation Program between the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Culture and Innovation of Hungary;
- Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of Hungary on the promotion and protection of investments.
At the end of the signing ceremony, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister Viktor Orban addressed the mass media.
Remarks by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov
Commenting on the results of the bilateral meeting, the head of Turkmenistan noted the productive cooperation between the two countries in the political and diplomatic sphere. The parties agreed to intensify partnership in the international arena, based on the positive experience of 30 years of cooperation within the UN and other organizations.
The importance of the international initiatives put forward by Turkmenistan and Hungary aimed at achieving peace and security, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals was stressed.
Much attention was paid to trade and economic cooperation. Speaking about this, the head of Turkmenistan emphasized that the parties have significant potential in the field of economy, which can be harnessed through the implementation of specific projects.
Turkmenistan has made proposals on the development of partnership in such areas as the oil and gas industry, industrial cooperation, pharmaceuticals and others. In this context, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov spoke about the need to enhance the activities of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Hungarian Commission for Economic Cooperation.
It is also proposed to explore the possibility of mutual opening of trading houses, representative offices and advisory platforms.
In the humanitarian sector, an agreement was reached on the organization of mutual Days of Culture of Turkmenistan and Hungary and on holding other events aimed at introducing the peoples of both countries with the traditions and unique customs of each other.
During the negotiations, the importance of continuing cooperation in the field of education was also emphasized, new proposals in this direction were announced.
Remarks by Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Voicing the results of the talks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the head of Turkmenistan accepted his invitation to visit Hungary.
According to Orban, Hungary sees great opportunities for multifaceted cooperation with the countries of Central Asia, which is one of the strategically important regions of the planet.
Hungary warmly supports Turkmenistan’s creative initiatives at the UN, including the announcement of 2023 as the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, which was fixed in the Resolution of the UN General Assembly.
Orban also noted that during the negotiations, issues of cooperation in the energy sector and in the transport and logistics sector, including the formation and use of appropriate infrastructure, were considered.
On the same day, Viktor Orban laid a wreath at the Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan and planted a tree on the Alley of Honored Guests.
In honor of the Prime Minister of Hungary, the President of Turkmenistan hosted an official dinner.
On 9 June, Prime Minister Orban wrapped up his visit to Turkmenistan and left Ashgabat. ///nCa, 10 June 2023 (photo source – MTI, TDH, Viktor Orban’s official accounts in social nets)
#Turkmen-Hungarian_relations, #Turkmenistan, #Hungary, #Viktor_Orban, #President_Serdar_Berdimuhamedov