Hungarian FM: Europe’s security today begins in Turkey

Hungarian FM: Europe’s security today begins in Turkey
# 03 May 2019 22:22 (UTC +04:00)

Hungary's foreign minister praised Turkey on Friday for its role in guaranteeing Europe’s security, ONA reports citing AA.

"Hungary sees Turkey as a strategic ally and friend," Peter Szijjarto said at a joint press conference after talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Turkey is caring for 4.5 million migrants and the country is not allowing them to travel to the EU, Szijjarto said.

He underlined that Europe would be facing "serious migration pressure" were it not for Turkey's adherence to the deal it reached with the EU in 2016.

"Europe’s security today begins in Turkey," Szijjarto added.

He stressed the importance of cooperation against terrorism with Turkey, which he said has taken serious steps against the threat, as over 5,000 former Daesh members who are EU citizens attempt to make their way back to Europe.

Highlighting the potential for cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy, Szijjarto said Hungary could import gas via the Turkish Stream gas pipeline -- currently under construction -- if it is unable to do so from Romania or Croatia.

Given the uncertainty over whether Hungary will be able to purchase gas through Ukraine next year, a portion of the country's gas could be supplied from the south, he said.

Szijjarto added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Hungary next fall to attend the Hungarian-Turkish high-level strategic council.

Ankara is working with Moscow on the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to run across the Black Sea.

With the first unit of the pipeline completed, negotiations are ongoing in Europe for the next segment.

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