Hungarian-Baltic cooperation is a twenty-five year success story, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

Following his speech at the Hungarian-Baltic Diplomatic Forum held at the Institutive for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Szijjártó told reporters: cooperation with the Baltic States has always been at the focus of Hungarian foreign policy. Cooperation is extremely close in three areas: NATO expansion, the importance of protecting Europe’s external borders and eastern partnership, he added.

On the subject of Hungarian-Baltic cooperation, Mr. Szijjártó explained that one of the best replies to the challenges NATO faces from the East is the Alliance’s further expansion, and accordingly both Hungary and the Baltic States are supporting the preparation of potential new members Bosnia-Hercegovina, Georgia and Macedonia. The Minister also emphasised the importance of protecting the European Union’s external borders, adding that Hungary would not accept the automatization of compulsory re-settlement quotas on the part of any EU institution. Hungary and the Baltic States wish to intensify relations with the countries of the Eastern Partnership, because this will increase the security of their eastern neighbours, he continued.


In his speech at the Forum, the Foreign Minister said Europe had recently had to face several serious and unforeseen challenges and even more serious challenges are expected this year, and it is under these conditions that Hungary and the Baltic States are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations this year. All three Baltic countries have been a stable and dependable partner to Hungary during the past 25 years, he pointed out.

Relations with the Baltic States have both a pragmatic and emotional basis in view of the fact that their recent history has many common points such as having been oppressed by communist dictatorship, their efforts to regain freedom and the successes achieved within trans-Atlantic integration. Hungary is proud to have participated in protecting the Baltic region’s airspace and is prepared to continue this cooperation, the Minister stated.

Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned the fact that the Eastern Partnership initiative is important to both Hungary and the Baltic States because the region also faces challenges from the east, not just from the south. The Eastern Partnership must be made more effective and successful, something which may also be facilitated by the Belarus Foreign Minster’s visit to Budapest on Thursday, he added.

Latvia was represented on the Hungarian-Baltic Diplomatic Forum by Andrejs Pildegovics State Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Latvia. (MTI)





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