The Hungarian Prime Minister met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at his residence, the Carmelite Monastery. In a joint press statement, Orbán said that they had raised the level of cooperation because both countries were aware that “not only Europe, but also the regions of the world connected to Europe, have entered an era of danger”. What distinguishes this meeting from previous ones is that “the international relations that surround us” are more dangerous than ever before, he said.
Viktor Orbán noted that he and Ilham Aliyev have been working for more than a decade to ensure that the depth and breadth of relations between Hungary and Azerbaijan is “worthy of the two countries”.
The Hungarian Prime Minister said that the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis had created a specific emergency situation not only in Hungary, but also in the supply situation in Europe as a whole. This has revalued Azerbaijan, and although “Azerbaijan was already a friend to us”, it has now become a strategically important country for the whole of Europe, he added.
He stressed that everyone in Europe knows that the only promising answer to the current situation is diversification: to supply energy to Europe from as many sources and routes as possible.
In the current situation, it is clear that the most realistic scenario for diversification is to supply energy produced in Azerbaijan to Europe,
he added. The Prime Minister stressed that Azerbaijan’s commitment to improving energy security in Europe was therefore welcome.
Viktor Orbán said that an agreement has been signed to double the amount of natural gas coming from Azerbaijan to Europe by 2027, and another agreement has been signed to import electricity from Azerbaijan. He said that both natural gas and electricity will transit through Hungary, hence our country will also be a beneficiary of this new situation.
Ilham Aliyev said that energy security was the top priority everywhere at the moment. He added that Azerbaijan has plenty of energy to meet European needs as a reliable supplier for the next 100 years. He said: Hungary and Azerbaijan’s long-standing friendly cooperation has brought mutual benefits to both countries and to Europe, which is why it is important that they have now strengthened their partnership. Ilham Aliyev recalled that they had been working together for a long time on various policy issues and on laying a solid foundation for their energy cooperation. The two countries also have excellent relations in other areas such as education and transport.
Prior to the press statement, seven Hungarian-Azerbaijani agreements were signed: on cooperation in natural gas, agriculture, space, migration, among others, and finally a key strategic partnership declaration.
Before meeting the Prime Minister, Ilham Aliyev was received by Hungarian President Katalin Novák on an official visit to the Sándor Palace.
During the meeting, Katalin Novák said that the economic and energy crisis caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war has made strategic partners such as Azerbaijan, with which we have excellent bilateral relations, more valuable. President Ilham Aliyev praised Hungarian-Azerbaijani relations and expressed hope that energy cooperation between the two countries could become closer in the future.
The Azeri President also invited both President of the Republic Katalin Novák and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for an official visit.