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The Gulf region is playing an increasingly important role in global stability, be it in terms of physical security or energy supply, and this has only been reinforced by the war in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after receiving his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Budapest on Tuesday.
In a joint press conference, Péter Szijjártó said that no Bahraini Foreign Minister had ever visited Hungary before and stressed the significance of the visit. He underlined that Bahrain and Hungary share a common position in that they both want the war in Ukraine to end as soon as possible. He added that both countries are in favor of a negotiated settlement of the conflict and the opening of channels of communication.
Szijjártó said that “Today, in international politics, war rhetoric prevails, and here in the transatlantic region we are used to the predominance of this rhetoric, but believe me, if we step out of this circle, we see that many people are speaking out very loudly and very strongly in favor of peace, (…) and we must reinforce this.” In this context, he welcomed the fact that Bahrain was among the Arab states that normalized their relations with Israel in the framework of the so-called Abraham Accords.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister then briefly touched on bilateral economic relations, recalling that
last year, the first meeting of the Joint Economic Committee of the two countries agreed on energy cooperation.
In the framework of this agreement, Hungarian oil company MOL will enter the Middle Eastern market with two technologies, which is also important, because it will enable the Hungarian company to gain a good position in the region, which is the world’s leading oil producer.
Finally, the minister presented the Commander’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit to Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani for his country’s mediation in providing full documentation on the use of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine during the coronavirus epidemic. He added that confirmation that the vaccines were effective and would save people’s lives was needed before they could be used from the East. “Bahrain was already ahead of us because they had already started using the Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, which Hungary is familiar with.”
He stressed that this has allowed the vaccine licensing process to start in Hungary, and has helped to make the lives and health of more than one million people safe. Without this, he said, immunization would have started weeks or months later, and thousands of more lives would have been lost.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó