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It is a personal privilege to be the first Hungarian prime minister to visit Kyrgyzstan

4 September 2018

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has had talks in Bishkek with the Kyrgyz head of state Sooronbay Jeenbekov. At the meeting He said that he sees it as a personal privilege to be the first Hungarian prime minister to pay an official visit to the Central Asian country.

At a press conference he highlighted that this represents a great responsibility, but both the emotional and economic foundations of relations between the two states are now solid.

Mr Orbán said that “Hungary is a country of ten million people which seeks to develop; but at the same time it wishes to preserve its sovereignty – and in this it shows similarities with your people.”

The Prime Minister observed that in Europe Hungarians are looked upon as the most westerly people of the East, and he added that although earlier this was intended as a slight, Hungary has always been proud to preserve the traditions of its origins.

He said that it is good to live in the West, which he described as a successful part of the world.

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

Mr Orbán said: “Hungary is also a successful country. But consequences arise from the fact that, after all, we are surrounded by foreign peoples, and we are a nation without relatives. Therefore Hungary is determined to foster its cultural, spiritual and geographical roots. This explains why the Hungarians see their independence and sovereignty as such a sensitive subject.”

After signing a joint statement with the Hungarian prime minister, the Kyrgyz head of state said that his country has maintained diplomatic relations with Hungary for twenty-six years, during which time the Hungarians have always proved to be reliable partners. He added that Kyrgyzstan is ready to support Hungary’s aspirations in all international forums.

The two leaders had talks about strengthening economic, tourism, scientific and cultural cooperation between Hungary and Kyrgyzstan.

At the meeting the two states also signed an agreement on tourism.

Speaking to public service media, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that Central Asian countries are experiencing ever greater economic growth, and therefore Hungary has an interest in playing a part in this process.

He added that Hungary has opened a credit line worth USD 65 million for the development of Hungarian-Kyrgyz business-to-business cooperation.

Mr Szijjártó said: “We would like as many tourists as possible from Central Asia to encounter the sights and attractions of Hungary, as this represents considerably increased revenue and prestige for the country. At present twenty-five young Kyrgyz students are studying in Hungary with the aid of state scholarships. We have agreed to increase this number to seventy-five from next September, and to provide state scholarships at Hungarian universities for seventy-five young people from Kyrgyzstan.”

Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

On Tuesday the Hungarian prime minister and the Hungarian delegation also had talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart. Mr Orbán highlighted that this meeting was a successful one, and that in the future Hungary will primarily be counting on Kyrgyzstan as a partner in the fields of health care, water management, agriculture and information technology.