Official dinner given in honor of President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva

An official dinner has been hosted on behalf of Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban and his wife Aniko Levai in honor of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in Budapest.

The Prime Minister of Hungary and the President of Azerbaijan made speeches at the dinner.

Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orban

- Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

A very warm welcome to all of you.

I will speak in my native language and my words will be translated into your language. Countries of the same size like to use their mother tongue, even if they conduct official negotiations in English. Hungary made a very important decision in 2010. We looked around the world to determine where we could find strategic partners. We were looking for a strong friendship, not just financial interests. Because NATO, the European Union – these are wonderful things. But they have already lost their beauty. We said in 2010 that we could not rely on ourselves alone. We made this decision to go towards Azerbaijan. My friendship with President Aliyev and the First Lady coincides with that time, and I sincerely want to greet the First Lady too.

According to Hungarian historians, during our long journey from the eastern side of the European mountains, we spent some time in the territory of contemporary Azerbaijan. That is why we are grateful to President Aliyev for supporting Hungary's accession to the Organization of Turkic States as an observer member. Because there is a cultural proximity between our two countries. It is not so obvious because we became Christians at a certain time, but Azerbaijan was able to preserve its Muslim identity. Making friends is not so easy. It is especially difficult for Hungarians. When you make a friend, you have to forgive them for all their mistakes. We Hungarians have also made a few mistakes. So we need to find friends who are willing to forgive us for the mistakes we made. It is easy to make friends who are always perfect. I also said this to President Aliyev. As for Hungary, you are gaining an imperfect friend in Hungary, Mr. Aliyev. It was interesting. There is something more important than that. Countries on the same page understand how similar from the point of view of strategic and geo-strategic location. You don't need to be a scholar to understand this. Azerbaijan borders on Iran in the south and on Russia in the north. Hungary borders on Germany to the west and on Russia to the east. We are past that. We are aware of the situation. We know how difficult it is to manage people in such a complicated situation. This has helped us a lot in strengthening our friendship. We understand each other in foreign policy. I have learned so much from President Aliyev in the last ten years in how to lead the country so well in a very complex environment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t learn everything he knows. Because we are on the radical side, whereas he is a politician known for his more moderate views. I need to learn from him how to become more successful in the international arena in a moderate way.

Mr. President, we are forever grateful to you for the past 10 years. We are not your friends because of your energy – you have many energy friends now. We share a culture and a similar background with you. We highly appreciate the opportunities you are offering to us. You have allowed the Hungarians the opportunity to invest in Azerbaijan's oil industry. This is one of our biggest investments abroad, if not the biggest. We have opportunities ahead of us. If we behave well, we will have opportunities in the future.

Mr. President, thank you for your visit. First Lady, we are especially grateful to you for accompanying your husband. We are welcoming the President and the First Lady, which is not quite common in politics these days. I can say from the example of President Aliyev that if you want to lead the country, you must have a whole family. Because how can you lead the country if everything is not in order in your own family? Therefore, we are welcoming not only the President and the First Lady today, we are welcoming members of an extended family. Long live Azerbaijan!

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Speech by President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Prime Minister.

Dear First Lady.

Dear friends.

Mehriban and I feel at home in your beautiful country. The hospitality extended to us makes us very happy.

My dear friend Prime Minister has said very nice things about us in his speech, for which I want to express my gratitude to him. Indeed, Hungary and Azerbaijan are both strategic partners and close friends. There are many bonds that connect us now. But I think that the fundamental factor among them is our common outlook of the world. This binds us even closer together and strengthens our friendship. Loyalty to national traditions and appreciation of family values are our life principles.

Our views on bilateral relations are the same, and we evaluate the processes taking place in the world from the same perspective. We have had close relations with Prime Minister for more than 10 years now, and I can say that we are friends. Also, my dear friend Viktor has been to Azerbaijan many times. I have already visited Hungary several times, and we meet at least several times every year at international events. We want to take every opportunity to talk and, at the same time, discuss and solve the issues that are important for our countries.

As my dear friend has noted, we are not energy friends, we are true friends. Over the past year, I can say that Azerbaijan has received orders and requests from more than 10 countries regarding the supply of energy resources. I can say that all these proposals are being discussed now. They are being routinely discussed subject to certain bureaucratic procedures, and then, of course, decisions will be made. But I can say that the document on natural gas cooperation between Hungary and Azerbaijan signed today was prepared in a matter of three days, and it was signed today. So three days, and these were weekend days. But it was enough for us to take a very important strategic step and put our signature on it today. This once again shows how sincere our relations are, and this is the greatest asset of our relations – mutual trust, mutual respect and our joint action on the basis of mutual interests.

In our statements for the media today, we covered many important issues, so I do not want to repeat them. However, I would like to add one thing here that we really feel at home here. We feel among friends.

Of course, the friendly Hungarian people have given Viktor the highest value by and repeatedly shown their wisdom by trusting him. At the same time, they duly appreciated his selfless activity. I wish my dear friend good luck and future victories. We can be considered veterans at the political level. Not because of our age. Viktor was elected leader earlier than me, at the age of 35. I was elected a little later – at the age of 41. Our strength is still there, and I am sure that our personal friendship and cooperation as leaders of the country will be continued for many years to come.


Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban and his wife Aniko Levai have hosted an official dinner in honor of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in Budapest, News.azreports.

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