Hungary has received observer status in the International Turkic Academy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a telephone statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Sunday from Bishkek, the capital of Kirgizstan, where he attended a foreign minister-level meeting of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States.

“The organisation will be holding a meeting of heads of state and government on Monday, at which a decision on Hungary’s observer status within the Turkic Council will also be made, as a precursor of which on Sunday the organisation’s foreign ministers voted to afford Hungary observer status in the International Turkic Academy”, Hungary’s chief diplomat highlighted.

The International Turkic Academy, which facilitates science and cultural research and cooperation, was established in 2012 by Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kirgizstan.

“Participation in the International Turkic Academy means that from now on Hungarian researchers will also be able to take part in the work of the international institution, which performs research into the history of the Turkic peoples”, the Minister explained.

“Hungary’s position is clear with regard to the fact that Europe is facing several major challenges. In the interests of assuring that the country can face these challenges successfully we must engage in cooperation with countries that can be of help to Europe from an economic, energy or security perspective”, he added.

“Turkey will soon be one of the world’s ten largest economies, and the Central Asian region is developing dynamically. In addition, Europe can expect to receive more shipments of natural gas from the Central Asian region, which will be arriving via Turkey. The required infrastructure is already under construction in Turkey”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister stressed that cooperation with the region is also important from a security perspective in view of the fact that the countries of the region can help repress the extremist views that foster terrorism, and which also pose a threat to Europe. With regard to economic cooperation, these countries can facilitate the development of effective cooperation between Europe and the continent’s Eastern neighbours, he added.

“These countries have a high regard for Hungary and regard it as a state that is proud of its history and which nurtures its heritage and traditions, and whose heritage also includes eastern roots. Accordingly, the Turkic-speaking states are gradually deepening their cooperation with Hungary”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

The 3rd World Nomad Games began in Bishkek on Sunday, at which Hungary is being represented by a 36-man delegation, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the press.