Hungary and Slovakia are not only neighbours but allies, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday after talks with Miroslav Lajcak, his Slovak counterpart.
Over the past few years both countries have done a lot so that this unprecedented situation should become reality, he told a joint press conference in Budapest.
Cooperation between the two countries on issues regarding the future of the European Union is robust, Szijjártó said, adding that both Hungary and Slovakia have stood up to illegal migration and the introduction of mandatory resettlement quotas. In the debates over the EU’s 2021-2027 financial cycle, both countries claim that central European nations have a right to EU cohesion funds under the EU treaties, he said.
Currently, Slovakia holds the rolling presidency of the Visegrad Group, the closest and most effective alliance within the EU, he said. Despite repeated attempts to break this, cooperation remains close, and in the past few weeks alone V4 members have demonstrated their solidarity many times, he added.
Fast-improving Hungary-Slovakia relations are beneficial to ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia and also to ethnic Slovaks in Hungary.
Miroslav Lajcák and Péter Szijjártó. Photo by Lajos Soós/MTI
Bilateral trade exceeded 10 billion euros last year and Slovakia is Hungary’s third most important trading partner, Szijjártó said. An economic development programme for southern Slovakia, which is inhabited by many ethnic Hungarians, will be continued and transport links are being developed, with a new public road bridge in Komarom and a high-speed road link in Rajka to be opened next year, he added. Three new bridges will be built across the River Ipoly with the help of EU funding, and the relaunch of two discontinued railway links is being planned, he said.
An honorary consulate will be opened in Nitra (Nyitra) and a vice-consulate in Banska Bystrica (Besztercebanya), also demonstrating that Hungary considers bilateral relations as highly important, he said.
Szijjártó expressed thanks to the Slovak parliament for the declarations they issued in protection of Hungary and Poland against procedures by Brussels, and for legislation stipulating signs to be displayed in Hungarian as well as Slovak at minor railway stations.
Lajcak said it was “a point of pride” for the Slovak government that ties with Hungary “have never been as good as they are today”. There are no taboos in bilateral dialogue, which is beneficial both for citizens and for economic cooperation, he said.
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In response to a question, Szijjártó said “we have an ongoing dispute with Jean-Claude Juncker”, the president of the European Commission, but this is not a new development. Juncker is “implementing the Soros plan” for migration, and the commission has done everything in its power to introduce quotas and exercise pressure on sovereign states to become immigrant countries, he added. US billionaire George Soros and Juncker openly talk about these efforts and “we do the same … not leaving the attacks unmentioned”, Szijjártó said.
On the featured photo: Miroslav Lajcak and Péter Szijjártó. Photo by Lajos Soós/MTI