Hungary can offer the Turkic Council a connection to Europe and the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday in Baku at the 7th summit of the Turkic Council.

The Prime Minister said Hungary is currently fighting to be given the portfolio of enlargement and neighbourhood policy in the new European Commission to be formed shortly.

“Our chances are not bad, but this is a keen battle. If we manage to obtain (it), then we will have close cooperation with Azerbaijan on the issue of Eastern partnership, and with Turkey regarding membership talks,” he said, stating that if Hungary manages to obtain that portfolio, “we will be happy to be at your disposal to help you with your aspirations”.

He also highlighted that the Hungarian Eximbank had opened credit lines for the Member States of the Turkic Council: a credit line worth EUR 195 million for Hungarian-Turkish cooperation, credit lines worth EUR 80 million for Hungarian-Kazakh, Hungarian-Uzbek and Hungarian-Azeri cooperation, and a credit line worth EUR 27 million for cooperation between Hungary and Kyrgyzstan.

Mr Orbán pointed out that during his premiership the volume of trade between Hungary and Member States of the Turkic Council had doubled, reaching USD 4 billion.

He also recalled that the European representation of the Turkic Council had been opened in Budapest recently.

The Prime Minister further said Hungary provides state scholarships for more than 700 students from the states of the Turkic Council.

In addition to providing information on the election of new officials in the European Union, the Prime Minister also updated the attendees about the issue of Brexit, stating that in his view, Britain will leave the EU at the end of October. In this context, he encouraged members of the Turkic Council to start negotiations with Britain regarding new trade agreements as soon as possible.

Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are full members of the Turkic Council comprised of countries speaking Turkic languages. At the Baku meeting, Uzbekistan, too, became a full member of the organisation.

Hungary has had observer status in the Council since 2018.