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Türkiye is a vital strategic partner for Hungary

13:56 November 10, 2023

Türkiye is a vital strategic partner for Hungary, and our military-to-military and defence relations go back a long time – said Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky after holding a discussion with the Turkish minister of defence in Budapest on Thursday, 9 November.

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The minister said that during the discussion, they reviewed the defence and security policy cooperation between the two countries. Türkiye is participating in the multinational NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity Battle Group (eVA BG) stationed in Hungary, and has also joined the recently started international Exercise Adaptive Hussars 2023, the largest-scale military maneuvers in 30 years.

Türkiye is a key actor in regional security policy, its voice is inescapable in international conflicts, which put the security of us all at risk – said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, adding that as a NATO member state and the leading country of the region, the position of Türkiye on the Russo-Ukrainian War is similar to that of Hungary.

Both countries are committed to immediate ceasefire and the soonest possible start of peace talks – the minister pointed out, emphasizing that it is very important to avoid the escalation and further victims of the war. It is also in the interest of Hungary and the region that peace can return, so that the economic and commercial relations can strengthen again, “instead of the horror of the war”.

The minister also said that Türkiye and Hungary share the opinion that as the largest defence alliance in the world, NATO must pay special attention to the threat posed by terrorism. He added that Hungary has an interest in maintaining the stability of the African region, and therefore next spring it is going to send a military mission to Chad as part of a complex assistance package. He pointed out that the objective is to solve the problems where they arise, rather than importing them to Europe.

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Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky also said that he and his Turkish counterpart agree about the significance of the stability of the Western Balkans region, and both countries’ armed forces are present in the region in the framework of NATO.

Besides military and security policy cooperation, they also discussed cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence industry. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky informed Yasar Güler about the development program of the Hungarian armed forces, in the framework of which they will equip the entire Hungarian military with NATO-compatible military assets and build a defence industry which will ensure the uninterrupted resupply of these assets and contribute to Hungary’s economic growth. He also noted that each forint spent on the development of the armed forces develops the Hungarian economy and infrastructure alike.

The minister noted that in accordance with a recent announcement, the manufacturing of Gidrán armored tactical vehicles is about to begin in Hungary in collaboration with Rába Automotive Holding Plc. He added that through this, a key piece of equipment of the renewing Hungarian military will be a combat vehicle produced in Hungary under Turkish license, which also contributes to the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Turkish Defence Minister Yasar Güler spoke about the sincere and constructive discussion, noting that Türkiye assigns special importance to cooperating with a “brotherly, allied and friendly” Hungary. He added that they had reviewed the bilateral relations, the security of the Euro-Atlantic region as well as issues concerning the NATO membership of the two countries.

Yasar Güler said that they had expressed their commitment to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence industry as well. He praised the “development of brotherly Hungary and the Hungarian armed forces”, and at once invited Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky to Türkiye.