On the sidelines of the European People’s Party (EPP) congress in Malta, the Hungarian Prime Minister has held talks with several prominent politicians of the centre-right group, including Albania’s Lulzim Bash, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and Ukraine’ Petro Poroshenko, PM Orbán’s press chief Bertalan Havasi told news agency MTI.
Following a meeting with President of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt, Viktor Orbán met Democratic Party of Albania leader Lulzim Basha on Wednesday. As Hungary’s ruling Fidesz and the Democratic Party of Albania are both co-members of the EPP, Lulzim Basha and Viktor Orbán were in agreement that stability in the western Balkans is a key issue for the future of Europe. Hungary wants to promote this by all possible means, Orbán said. The talks focused on current European political issues and ways to strengthen Hungarian-Albanian economic and political relations, the statement said. The sides agreed to strengthen cooperation and regularly exchange experiences.
On Thursday morning, Viktor Orbán held talks with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. During the meeting, which was also attended by President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, Orbán and Berlusconi reviewed Europe’s economic situation and current Italian domestic affairs. Orbán invited Berlusconi for a visit to Hungary. The the two party leaders pledged to strengthen the ties between the parties. While Orbán is the leader of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, Berlusconi heads Italy’s opposition Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party.
Furthermore, the Hungarian Premier discussed the issue of dual citizenship for ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Malta. In their talks on the sidelines of the EPP congress on Thursday morning, Orbán and Poroshenko discussed the need for a bilateral agreement on the dual citizenship issue. Orbán reassured Poroshenko of Hungary’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Viktor Orbán also stressed Hungary’s commitment to maintaining its energy cooperation with Ukraine, which includes the two countries’ joint fight against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
During the two-day EPP congress in Malta, Viktor Orbán has also held talks, among others, with former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainenpress, Austrian Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, Croatian Prime Minsiter Andrej Plenković and re-elected Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the Hungarian Prime Minsiter’s press chief Bertalan Havasi said in a statement.
According to EPP’s website, the group is holding its Congress with 2,500 participants from more than 40 countries on 29 and 30 March in Malta to discuss how to “secure Europe’s future” and to “focus on foreign and security policies as well as economic and digital realities.” The list of speakers includes, among many others, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photos: Balázs Szecsődi – kormany.hu