Recep Tayyip Erdogan deserves the award for his efforts to negotiate a resolution to the conflict, Peter Szijjarto said
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has declared that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to broker an end to the hostilities in Ukraine
Speaking at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday, Szijjarto praised Erdogan's role in negotiating the Black Sea grain deal, and his hosting of ultimately fruitless peace talks between Moscow and Kiev last year.
"Anyone who talks about peace is immediately presented as an ally of Putin, they are immediately portrayed as a friend of the Russians, a propagandist of the Kremlin," he stated, referring to the climate of hostility toward Russia in the West. "But the only way to end the war is through negotiations. Turkey's successful attempts at mediation have proven this."
"The only successful mediation attempt that has given any hope of peace is that of Türkiye, President Erdogan and Minister Cavusoglu personally, which led to the Black Sea Grain Initiative," he continued. "Thanks to Türkiye's efforts we can move closer to the hope of peace."
Despite being a member of the NATO military bloc, Türkiye has not sanctioned Russia, and maintains diplomatic and trade links with both Kiev and Moscow. Erdogan, who has described his position on the conflict as "balanced," has visited both Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin since hostilities began last February, and earlier this month told both leaders that he remains ready to broker a "permanent peace" between them.
Efforts to negotiate this peace have thus far failed. According to US sources, an agreement was reportedly within reach following talks in Istanbul last March. However, the Ukrainian delegation abruptly pulled out after a surprise visit to Kiev by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during which he urged Ukrainian officials to keep fighting, according to the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper.
The deputy leader of Erdogan's party, Numan Kurtulmus, has since come out and said that a deal was close, but the US and its allies "didn't want" this to happen.
Hungary is an outlier among EU countries in that it has opposed some of the bloc's sanctions on Russia, and has refused to contribute weapons to Kiev's forces. Although Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has condemned Moscow's military operation, he has decried the "spiral of escalation" that the West has embarked on in Ukraine and called on the US to pressure Kiev into peace talks with Moscow.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel prizes, and has been awarded annually since 1901. Some recent winners have generated controversy, as was the case when US President Barack Obama received the award in 2009 before going on to involve America in five new foreign conflicts and wage a drone campaign that targeted - among hundreds of others - US citizens.