The United States values central Europe, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after a meeting with his NATO counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday, adding that the US and central Europe could be expected to cooperate closely on a number of political and economic issues.
Speaking after talks between the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group countries and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Szijjártó said the first ever such meeting indicated the strength of the V4 as well as the importance of the central European region.
Hungary stands ready to cooperate with the US at international forums, especially in terms of efforts against terrorism, Szijjártó said at the meeting. He noted that Hungary had been one of the first countries to join a US initiative against the Islamic State militant group, adding that it would uphold that commitment. Hungary and the US have also built good cooperation in supporting persecuted religious communities, he added.
Hungary and the US are linked through their support for Israel, too, Szijjártó said. “Hungary has always rejected unilateral, unfair and biased attacks on Israel,” he said, adding that “Israel, too, deserves a balanced and fair approach”.
The Hungarian government supports the US’s return to the UN Human Rights Council, and will vote to that effect, the minister said.
Szijjártó called it important that the US could be relied on in terms of its support for the EU and NATO integration of the Western Balkans. He also highlighted the Three Seas Initiative as a crucial scheme in ties between the US and central Europe. He said that completion of infrastructure developments were instrumental in ensuring the region’s energy security, and asked Blinken that US companies view those projects as well as schemes aimed at finding new energy sources “as strategic rather than financial ventures”.
Szijjártó said Hungary was proud that US businesses were the second largest investor group in the country, with 1,700 companies employing some 105,000 Hungarians.
“I think that we will be in a position to successfully develop ties between Hungary and the US on a basis of mutual respect in the near future,” Szijjártó said.
Featured photo illustration via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page