Austrian president holds talks in Hungary
Hungary and Austria are both committed to complying with the Paris Climate Agreement and to drafting the rules for its implementation as quickly as possible, President János Áder said after talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen in Budapest on Tuesday.
Áder said Hungary and Austria are obliged to make it clear that the US president’s decision to quit the agreement would not affect its implementation.
Áder stressed the importance of the two country’s economic relations and said he and Van der Bellen were in agreement that those ties needed to be expanded further. Austria is Hungary’s second largest trading partner, with an annual turnover of around 10 billion euros, Áder said, adding that Austrian companies employ 70,000-75,000 people in Hungary, and many Hungarians find employment in Austria.
Van der Bellen said that in light of the two countries’ long-standing, “special relationship”, it was not surprising that Hungary and Austria’s economic cooperation was progressing well.
The talks also touched upon Hungary’s planning to upgrade its nuclear plant at Paks, and both presidents concluded that their countries “do not share a position” on nuclear energy. Van der Bellen added, however, that Austria has better conditions to use hydroelectric power.
The Austrian president noted that he had met leaders of Hungarian universities and voiced hope that the tension between the Hungarian government and the Central European University could be eased.
On the subject of migration, Áder said that refugees need to be settled in the first safe country they arrive in, and they must be assisted in returning to their homelands when possible. He said that economic and political refugees need to be distinguished, and added that “now Austria has also changed its position”.
Answering a question on border control, Van der Bellen said that his country’s police were in close cooperation with Hungarian authorities, and were making attempts to avoid traffic congestions at border crossing points.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen held talks on economic issues and the stability of the Western Balkans. The two leaders underlined the importance of good neighbourly relations and discussed ways to develop bilateral cooperation, Bertalan Havasi said. It was established that Austria is Hungary’s second largest trade partner, with Austrian companies employing nearly 80,000 Hungarians.
Orbán and Van der Bellen agreed to continue cooperation so as to guarantee stability in the Western Balkans, he said.