Turkey, Hungary ties gather momentum

By Mehmet Yilmaz

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AA) – The relations between Turkey and Hungary have recently accelerated in every field by increasing mutual high-level visits and consultations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is paying an official visit to Hungary on Monday and Tuesday upon the invitation of his Hungarian counterpart Janos Ader.

According to the Turkish presidency, Erdogan will also meet with Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover and Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The officials will discuss bilateral relations, Turkey-EU relations, irregular migration and the fight against terrorism. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues.

"The visit will be the sign of the common will at the highest level, aimed at boosting our cooperation with Hungary in every field as part of our strategic partnership," the presidency said in a statement.

Erdogan is also expected to officially inaugurate the Tomb of Gul Baba in Budapest, attend a business forum with Orban, and pay a visit to the Budapest Turkish Memorial Cemetery.

Ankara and Budapest enjoy friendly relations based on historical and cultural ties, NATO alliance, close cooperation within international organizations, especially the EU and the Council of Europe, and Hungary’s support to Turkey’s EU membership.

High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) between the two countries was agreed upon during the then-prime minister Erdogan's visit to Hungary in 2013.

The first HLSCC meeting was held during Orban's visit to Turkey in 2013. A second meeting followed in 2015 in Budapest and the third one in Ankara in 2017 under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Orban. The fourth meeting will be held in Budapest in 2019.

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry's website, Hungary follows an economy/trade-focused foreign policy and considers Turkey as one of the key countries in its “Opening to the East” policy.

The bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached $2.5 billion in 2017.

Around 80,000 Hungarian tourists visited Turkey in 2017. There are approximately 2,500 Turkish citizens residing in Hungary, according to the ministry.

* Diyar Guldogan from Ankara contributed to this report.

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