Uzbekistan’s embassy in Budapest has opened, meaning that every member state of the Organization of Turkic States now has a diplomatic representation in Hungary, so instead of closure and isolation, an opening will take place, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced.
According to the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at the press conference held at the opening with his Uzbek counterpart, Bakhtijor Saidov, the head of the ministry described the event as an event in the history of diplomacy, emphasizing that this is the first visit of an Uzbek foreign minister to our country.
He underlined: the present is a difficult period, as there is a war going on in neighboring Ukraine, to which many enlisted members of the Hungarian minority have already fallen victim.
“That’s why we, Hungarians, since we are next door and represent a nation whose members are constantly losing their lives, we want peace, an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations,” he stated.
“It is also true that we are under constant attack in the European and transatlantic world because of this position,” he added. At the same time, he pointed out that “the world is more and bigger than the transatlantic region, and we who want peace in the world are indeed in a significant majority”.
“Thus, when Hungary argues for peace, Hungary does so as part of the global majority, and since we are part of a global majority, the news about our isolation is nothing more than fake news,” he said.
Péter Szijjártó announced that one of the peace-loving countries is now opening an embassy in another peace-loving country, and with this all member states of the Organization of Turkish States will have diplomatic representation in Budapest.
“Instead of closure and isolation, there will be an opening,” he said.
After that, he praised the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, from which both sides have benefited a lot so far, but according to his words, the opening of the embassy can take the cooperation to a new dimension.
The minister believed that the economic breakthrough was achieved by the fact that OTP has now become the fifth most significant player in Uzbekistan’s banking sector. It has approximately 1.6 million customers in the Central Asian country by acquiring a local company.
“And the appearance of the OTP in Uzbekistan will certainly encourage new Hungarian companies, as their legal and financial security is now guaranteed,” he declared.
He then reported that the two countries had concluded important agreements on the further development of economic relations. First of all, a special industrial zone will be created near Tashkent specifically for Hungarian investing companies, where they will be able to operate under preferential rules, and many domestic companies have already expressed interest in the opportunity.
The government will provide support for this, and a financial fund is being set up for this purpose, he informed.
He also announced that a direct air connection between the two capitals would be established by the end of the year, initially with two weekly flights, the technical, financial and legal preparations for which are already well underway.
Before the opening of the embassy, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of cultural heritage.
Photo: The Embassy of Uzbekistan on the day of its ceremonial opening in Budapest on March 27, 2023. MTI/Zoltán Balogh