(MTI) – Hungarian-Austrian relations are highly important and they remain solid despite smaller or larger disputes, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Wednesday after meeting his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz in Budapest.
Martonyi told a joint press conference there were only two issues on which the two countries hold differences of opinion: Austrian banks and the Hungarian land law. He said issues should not create political tension between their countries and Austria must remain active in Central European cooperation in future, too.
Martonyi said he and Kurz mentioned taking joint diplomatic action in connection with the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Anti-government demonstrations have been taking place throughout the country.
Martonyi added that Austrian wind power stations near the Hungarian border raised environmental issues. Although this falls under the competence of provinces, genuine bilateral dialogue should be promoted in this matter, too, he said.
Kurz said that Austrian investors needed greater predictability, a stable legal framework and non-discriminatory treatment in order to create jobs and invest in Hungary.
Regarding the new Hungarian land law, Kurz said that it had put some Austrian farmers into a difficult situation. Austria is now awaiting the EU position on whether the Hungarian law meets EU legal standards or not. He agreed that as neighbouring countries Hungary and Austria should always strive to discuss difficult issues.
He said that their countries aimed to cooperate on several international and European Union matters. Their interests coincide on the western Balkans and Danube strategy developments, he added.
This year the anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain and Hungary’s EU accession will give opportunities for joint celebrations, Kurz said.
Hungary’s foreign trade chief, Peter Szijjarto also held talks with Sebastian Kurz and his delegation in Parliament, his press chief said.
The sides agreed that good cooperation between the two countries is of common interest as their economies depend on each other, said Judit Fulop. Austria is Hungary’s second most important trading partner, with bilateral trade totalling 9-10 billion euros. Austria is the fourth largest investor in Hungary with investments totalling 9 billion euros, she said.
Szijjarto noted the strategic partnership agreements the Hungarian government has concluded with two major Austrian-owned companies, Leier Hungaria and Prinzhorn Group.
Szijjarto emphasised the importance of cross border cooperation and indicated the Hungarian government’s commitment to building 20 new border crossing points to be added to the 29 existing ones during the period of 2014-2020.
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