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Péter Szijjártó Welcomes New US Ambassador And Hopes An “Uptick” In Relations

Tamás Székely 2015.01.18.

The Hungarian foreign minister has said he pins serious hopes on the arrival of the new US ambassador in Hungary for an uptick in relations. Speaking on public radio, Péter Szijjártó called it “good news” that Washington will have an ambassador serving in Hungary. The Hungarian government will do its utmost to ensure that US-Hungarian cooperation is as smooth in politics as in the areas of the economy and defence.

On the topic of the upcoming visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel next month, Szijjártó said it was only natural that the two countries’ leaders should hold their own consultations away from their regular meetings in Brussels, he said, adding that bilateral and EU issues, the conflict in Ukraine and EU-Russian relations were also expected to be discussed. Previously Péter Szijjártó also said that Merkel’s visit should not be seen in contradistinction to Vladimir Putin’s. The Foreign Minister ridiculed opposition remarks suggesting that Merkel’s visit was intended “to restore order” in Hungary. Germany is one of Hungary’s most important political and economic partners, and her visit reflects this, he added.

The date of Putin’s visit in the spring is still being finalised, Szijjártó said. The Ukraine situation will certainly be on the agenda of the talks and Hungary’s position is that mutual respect of the Minsk agreement is the only way forward to peace, he said, adding that it is important to revive links between the European Union and Russia, based on partnership and respect for international law. The talks will also cover trade relations in light of the 13-14% drop in Hungarian exports to Russia last year. Energy cooperation will be an additional issue to be discussed, given the new situation arising from the cancellation of the South Stream project.

Commenting on the topical European issue of immigration, the Foreign Minister said a common European response and “calm and composed consultations” were required. Péter Szijjártó said that “although the wounds of the recent barbarian terror attacks may still be too fresh,” the EU must address the issue at some point.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Zsolt Szigetváry – MTI


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