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Hungary Is of Great Importance to Egypt, Researcher Says

Mariann Őry 2023.03.01.
Egypt Hungary

Hungary and Egypt also have common interests in relation to the war in Ukraine and migration, Meszár Tárik, researcher at the Eurasia Center told Hungary Today about Viktor Orbán’s visit to Cairo.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was on an official visit to Cairo on Tuesday and Wednesday. They discussed the war in Ukraine and illegal immigration with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and the two countries signed a series of bilateral agreements.

Viktor Orbán Holds Talks in Cairo
Viktor Orbán Holds Talks in Cairo

At a press conference with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Hungarian Prime Minister called Egypt a strong bastion of the line of defense against illegal migration.Continue reading

“Strengthening bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Hungary can be fruitful for both sides and concerns areas such as energy, transport, trade, industry, tourism, agriculture, irrigation, water management, culture, and education,” Meszár Tárik, a researcher at the Eurasia Center of John von Neumann University told us, adding that “of these areas, the energy issue is particularly worth mentioning, as Hungary intends to import liquefied natural gas from Egypt once the infrastructure needed for energy security is built in Greece.” According to the expert,

Hungary is also of great importance to Egypt, as the exchange of knowledge in the areas of agriculture, water management and irrigation, and food security is essential for sustainable development.”

Peace and stability are a priority for both Egypt and Hungary

At a joint press conference with the Egyptian president, Orbán said that they agreed that the situation in Ukraine should be steered towards a peaceful settlement rather than escalation.

Tárik maintained that “Egypt is central to world politics through the Suez Canal; the oil and transportation routes through the Mediterranean corridor essential for international trade and the transportation of energy resources.” He stressed that “Egypt’s role on the political map of the Middle East is also significant, the country’s foreign policy constantly strives for peace and stability.”

The researcher pointed out that “Egypt is the largest importer of wheat, with 80 percent of the country’s wheat supplies coming from Russia and Ukraine,” so at the outbreak of the war, “the price of wheat and other products, such as fertilizer, rose extraordinarily, although it has since calmed somewhat.” He noted that

the war is also affecting tourism, which is important to the Egyptian economy, and since both Russia and Ukraine are important sources of tourism to Egypt, the absence of tourists has had a negative impact on the economy.”

“In addition, the ongoing war directly affected inflation in the global economy, which has further hurt the country. Therefore, it is not surprising that the African-Arab country, like Hungary, is on the side of peace and is interested in ending the Russian-Ukrainian war as soon as possible,” Tárik concluded.

Cooperation to stop illegal migration

The Hungarian Prime Minister called Egypt  a strong bastion of the line of defense against illegal migration. “For its work, Europe owes Egypt its thanks, respect, and support”, he said.

According to Tárik, “Egypt is busily working to curb illegal migration, as evidenced by the expansion of efforts to eliminate criminal organizations involved in human trafficking.” “In addition, Egypt has stepped up efforts to combat irregular migration to Europe and has not allowed boats carrying migrants to leave the country’s coast since 2016,” he added. “In this context, Hungary called on the EU last year to provide financial support to Egypt to combat irregular migration from Africa to Europe,” the expert recalled.

Featured photo via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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