2017 ‘Record Year’ For Hungarian Diplomacy

  • 14 Dec 2017 8:20 AM
2017 ‘Record Year’ For Hungarian Diplomacy
In his report to parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó described 2017 as a “record year” for Hungarian diplomacy, noting that Hungary had been visited by the prime ministers of Israel and China as well as the Egyptian president. Further, the leaders of 16 countries were in Hungary at the same time for last month’s CEE-China summit, he added.

Hungary also hosted the World Export Development Forum and meetings between the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group and the western Balkans countries as well as the Eastern Partnership countries.

The country also played host to the V4-Britain meeting on foreign trade and the Hungary-Latin America forum, Szijjártó noted. The minister named the issue of migration as one of the major challenges facing Hungarian foreign policy.

Szijjártó said it was unlikely that the pressure of migration on Europe would ease, adding that emigration and migration would continue to be ongoing issues in both Africa and the Middle East. Therefore any remarks coming from Europe that encourage migration put Europeans in greater danger, he insisted. Szijjártó said Hungary’s position on the matter had not changed: that help should be provided at the point where it is needed.

This is why the government will continue to step up its humanitarian assistance programme dubbed “Hungary Helps”, he said. The Hungarian government still insists on aiding Middle Eastern and African countries in the defence of their borders, Szijjártó added.

On the topic of energy security, Szijjártó said “like it or not, the only realistic option” for diversifying Hungary’s energy supplies is a new Russian gas supply route.

He said “our western European friends”, who he said had imported a record amount of gas from Russia this past year, are demanding energy diversification, yet all EU regulations and measures “end up having the opposite effect”.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo

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