Viktor Orbán Holds Talks with Turkish President as Part of his Peace Mission

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday, in Washington on the Hungarian peace mission, Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief announced.

Viktor Orbán arrived in the U.S. capital on Tuesday evening, Central European Time, to attend the NATO summit from July 9 to 11. In addition to the programs of the North Atlantic Alliance summit, Mr Orbán will also hold a series of bilateral talks with the leaders of NATO member states.

During the meeting with Turkish President Erdoğan, the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian war was discussed. Viktor Orbán asked for support for the Hungarian peace mission in view of the fact that Turkey has so far been the only successful mediator in the conflict.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó shared a few words about the meeting on his social media page: “During the war in Ukraine, only one country has been able to mediate successfully so far, and that was Turkey, thanks to whom the grain agreement was reached earlier.  Turkey can now be counted on for peace efforts.

We have agreed to remain in close contact and to join forces so that peace, not just war, can finally be discussed in international organizations.

Today, if one talks about peace or the need for peace in international organizations, one is immediately stigmatized and this practice must stop,” the politician wrote on Facebook.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán launched a peace mission at the start of the Hungarian EU presidency. After talks in Kyiv and Moscow last week, the head of government traveled to China, from where he flew to the United States to attend the three-day NATO summit. The most important topic of the current global gathering is still the war in Ukraine.

At the opening of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden, whose fitness for office has been questioned for a while now, especially after the first presidential debate, pledged to forcefully defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, Reuters reported. “Putin wants nothing less, nothing less, than Ukraine’s total subjugation … and to wipe Ukraine off the map,” Biden stated in his welcome to NATO member states to the summit, referring to the Russian president. “Ukraine can and will stop Putin.”

During the meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged international leaders to promptly aid his war-torn country. He said that “everyone is waiting for November,” including Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the 2024 U.S. presidential election and the specter of a second Donald Trump presidency remains top of mind for international leaders gathered in Washington, DC, for a high-stakes NATO summit. To this end, we must be strong and uncompromising altogether,” Zelensky emphasized. “And first of all, America, and first of all, the leaders of America, and the president of the United States as a leader of the free world, to be uncompromising in defending democracy. Uncompromising against Putin and his country. Uncompromising to every possible terror,” the Ukrainian President highlighted.

The U.S. has promised “significant” announcements on Ukraine during the three-day global gathering. However, there are looming questions whether the shows of support will be enough as the war drags on with little sign of a quick diplomatic or military victory for Kyiv. Concerns about the future of NATO should Trump win November’s presidential election are weighing on many attendees who were not reassured by Biden’s disastrous debate performance late last month, CNN points out.

The U.S. presidential election is crucial to the war in Ukraine, because while Biden is calling for the war to continue, his opponent Donald Trump has repeatedly said that if elected he would “end the conflict in 24 hours“. Furthermore, the election winner in November could have a substantial impact on the future of NATO, Europe and the rest of the world.

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Via MTI, CNN, Reuters; Featured image via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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