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Novák Katalin és Szadir Zsaparov kirgiz elnök

Katalin Novák: relations with the countries of Central Asia are of key importance to Hungary

Relations with the countries of Central Asia are of key importance to Hungary. Hungary is a committed member of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance, but it is important for Hungary to also establish friendly relations with countries in the East, including those in Central Asia. – said President of Hungary Katalin Novák during her press meeting with President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov at Sándor Palace in Budapest on Monday.

She remarked: we want both to cultivate our alliance relations and to develop pragmatic, good relations with the countries of Central Asia. She added: there is potential in the economic relations between Hungary and Kyrgyzstan.

Europe is also increasingly focusing on the Central Asian countries, Katalin Novák pointed out, adding that Hungary welcomes the closer relations between the European Union and Kyrgyzstan, the next step of which is the signing of the Enhanced Cooperation and Partnership Agreement as soon as possible.
Kyrgyzstan has been waiting for three years to sign the agreement, and Hungary will do its best to speed up the process – the Hungarian Head of State emphasized.

Katalin Novák underlined: the strategic agreement they signed also expresses the commitment of both countries to take effective action against terrorism and strengthen bilateral relations in the highest possible number of areas. Another key goal is to act together to tackle the growing threat of illegal migration. They also want to strengthen relations between the two countries in most areas, such as tourism, agriculture, water and education.

Katalin Novák noted that Hungary opened its embassy in Kyrgyzstan two years ago, indicating that relations between the two countries are getting stronger. She said that at their meeting, they agreed that a key goal is to act against illegal migration, and in the course of the day they will also discuss the education of young people and the importance of mobility.

Concerning foreign scholarship she stressed: she welcomes the fact that the obstacles to Erasmus scholarships for Hungarian students have been removed.
Katalin Novák pointed out that under the Stipendium Hungaricum Programme, Hungary offers scholarship-opportunities to 200 Kyrgyz students.

Kyrgyzstan is ranked 100th among our trading partners, so there is still potential in economic relations, according to the President. She added that the joint development fund is intended to promote economic cooperation, and is a funding support scheme for companies wishing to invest in each other's countries.

The President of Hungary highlighted that the Russian-Ukrainian war was a key topic of the discussion, and that they agreed with the President of Kyrgyzstan that peace and bringing the parties to the negotiating table as soon as possible is the goal.

In response to a question Katalin Novák explained: she is planning to attend the Bucharest Nine Summit in Warsaw on 22 February, where she will also inform US President Joe Biden about the war in Ukraine and the urgent need for a peace agreement.

At the event of Monday, the representatives of Hungary and Kyrgyzstan – including Minister of Justice Judit Varga and President of the National Authority for Data Protection Attila Péterfalvi – signed further agreements, on strengthening and developing their joint strategic partnership and on judicial and educational cooperation, among others.