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Hungary's Orban Vows To Develop Ties With 'Kin' Central Asian States

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) and Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov shake hands on September 3.

BISHKEK -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has vowed to develop closer ties with Kyrgyzstan and other Turkic nations of Central Asia.

Speaking to journalists after talks in Bishkek on September 4 with Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Orban said it was "an honor to be the first Hungarian prime minister to pay a visit to Kyrgyzstan."

"Hungary remembers its origin. Europe deems us to be the easternmost Western people. But they also see us as alien because we have no kin there. Hungary will look after its cultural roots," Orban said, adding that his visit to Bishkek was "successful."

Orban invited Jeenbekov to visit Hungary and expressed gratitude to the Kyrgyz leader "for doing the utmost" for Hungary's accession to the Council of Turkic-Speaking States, also known as the Turkic Council.

The Turkic Council was established in October 2009 with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey as the group's founding members.

The presidents of the four member-states convened in Kyrgyzstan's resort city of Cholpon-Ata on September 3.

Orban and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev attended the Turkic Council as "honored guests."