(MTI) – Germany is a key strategic ally to Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Berlin on Thursday, prior to talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Speaking to the press, Orban said that Hungary’s aim was to strengthen and further deepen bilateral ties, which he called excellent.
Orban noted that Germany had invested some 6 billion euros in Hungary since 2010, and said that the presence of the German economy in Hungary and in Central Europe contributed to efforts to making the region “the engine driving Europe’s economic growth”.
Concerning his Fidesz party’s recent election victory, Orban said that the party “feels a lot of strength to govern Hungary further along the path which proved successful during the past four years”. He noted that Hungary’s industrial output in March was 10.6 percent up year-on-year and said that “we have good reason to be optimistic”.
Orban said his talks with Merkel would touch upon the Russia-Ukraine situation and added that Hungary supports Germany’s efforts. He added that he appreciated Merkel’s personal efforts to promote a resolution through negotiations.
Orban also referred to Ukraine’s Hungarian community of about 200,000, and said that ensuring protection and security to those people was crucial for Hungary.
At the press conference, Merkel said that Hungarians had voted a lot of confidence to Orban, but added that involved a huge responsibility.
On another subject, Merkel said that her people would never forget that Hungary’s opening up its borders for East-German refugees in 1989 had greatly contributed to Germany’s reunification.
Merkel said both Germany and Hungary were committed to further developing close economic ties which had developed during the past 25 years. For German companies legal conditions are crucial, but a number of examples have demonstrated the success of Hungarian-German cooperation, she added.
Concerning Ukraine, Merkel said that the crisis should be resolved through diplomatic means and the introduction of sanctions cannot be a “purpose in itself”, however, the European Union will not shrink from penal measures.
Photo: Prime Minister’s Office