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Türkiye is a vital strategic partner for Hungary

Text: Márton Mészáros Navarrai | Photo: László Kertész, Gábor Kormány |  13:07 November 13, 2023

Hungary and Türkiye have the same interests, said Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at a joint press conference held in the Ministry of Defence with Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Türkiye Yaşar Güler on 9 November.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky underlined that Türkiye is Hungary’s vital strategic partner, and that today the two sides are “working to further strengthen our excellent military-defence relations.”

“Türkiye is an especially important, inescapable actor in regional security policy, and since we live in the age of threats, it has a quite essential role in those international conflicts that put the security of us all at risk”, pointed out the Minister of Defence, adding that as a NATO member and a leading country of the region, the position of Türkiye on the Russo-Ukrainian War is similar to that of the government of Hungary.

“Both countries are committed to immediate ceasefire and the earliest possible start of peace talks, since it is very important to avoid escalation and further casualties. It is in the interest of Hungary and the whole region that peace be reinstated and the economic-commercial relations can strengthen again”, he pointed out. He added that the recently started, countrywide multinational Exercise Adaptive Hussars 2023 – which is being conducted on a scale unprecedented in more than 30 years – involves the Turkish armed forces as well.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky pointed out that during the discussion, the two delegations reviewed in detail the security situation of the Sahel, because Hungary is also interested in the stability of the African region. The Hungarian National Assembly recently approved the sending of a complex military mission to Chad, so starting from the spring of 2024, a maximum of 200 Hungarian troops can serve in the Central African country. He added that beyond the above, Hungary and Türkiye also agree on the issue of the stability of the Western Balkans.

Speaking about the joint cooperation in the field of defence industry, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky noted that the CEOs of N7 National Defence Industry Innovation Holding Ltd and Rába Automotive Holding Plc. had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the representatives of Turkish Nurol Makina factory on the Hungarian manufacturing of Gidrán combat vehicles, which have already entered service with the Hungarian Defence Forces. Under this agreement, from now on the armored combat vehicles will be produced at Rába Ltd in Győr. Turkish Minister of National Defence Yaşar Güler highlighted that at the negotiations, the two sides primarily discussed mutual issues in territorial security, and expressed their commitment to strengthening the cooperation between the two states – partly with defence industrial purposes. He emphasized that “We are very happy to see the development of the Hungarian Defence Forces”.

Besides representatives of the Turkish and Hungarian delegations, also present at the press conference was Deputy Chief of HDF General Staff Lieutenant General Ferenc Kajári.