Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

01/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/24/2020 07:33

The easing of Middle Eastern tensions is in Hungary’s interests

'It is in Hungary's interests for the tensions in the Middle East to ease as much as possible', Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Friday in Budapest.

Mr. Szijjártó met with Saudi Arabian Foreign Secretary Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir, and at the press conference following the talks, highlighted: 'We have identified the points in which Hungary and Saudi Arabia represent a similar position. These include migration and the fight against terrorism', he stated.

With relation to migration, he explained: 'The protection of borders is important; it is important for assistance to be taken to where the trouble is, and that the root causes of migration must be handle, in addition to which action must be taken against people smugglers'. 'If there are security risks in the Middle East, it could give rise to new waves of migration aimed at Europe', Mr. Szijjártó pointed out.

The Foreign Minister also said that eliminating the root causes of migration requires humanitarian drives, which Hungary is indeed launching within the framework of its Hungary Helps Program. 'Humanitarian dialogue will begin between the two countries, as a result of which we will also be launching some joint drives', he added.

With relation to the fight against terrorism, Mr. Szijjártó said: 'Efforts must continue, and the goal is the permanent elimination of the Islamic State terrorist organisation'. He also noted that Hungary does not want the number of countries with nuclear weapons to increase.

The Minister also spoke about the fact that Saudi Arabia faces special challenges because of the lack of water, and requires the development of its water-related infrastructure, which represents a major opportunity for Hungarian technologies and engineering knowhow. 'We have opened a 600-million-euro credit line at Eximbank to facilitate business cooperation', he stated. He also said that relations between the two countries' diplomatic academies and foreign affairs institutes will be made more dynamic in future to facilitate better understanding of each other's regions.

Adel bin Ahmed al Jubeir stressed: 'Hungary and Saudi Arabia may establish mutually advantageous cooperation, for instance within the fields of science and education, in addition to which they may tighten their economic relations and take joint action in international organisations'. He pointed out that the two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year. In response to a question with relation to press reports claiming that the heir to the Saudi throne was involved in the hacking of Jeff Bezos's phone, the Saudi Foreign Secretary said the reports were unfounded and ridiculous.