New York, September 21 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó held bilateral talks focusing on diplomatic and economic issues in New York on Tuesday.
Szijjártó participated in nine bilateral meetings, including four with African counterparts, with the aim of boosting economic ties with African countries.
“There is a shared view that Africa is the future and it is in Hungary’s interest to utilise the advantages of Africa’s development,” he told MTI.
He noted he had held meetings with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui, Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ahmad ‘Abd al-Aziz Ghandour and Foreign Minister of Cape Verde Luis Filipe Tavares and agreed with each diplomatic leader that their countries would support Hungary’s candidacy in the UN Human Rights Council in October.
“Since Hungary can best succeed if it operates within the framework of the European Union, we are encouraging the EU-Algeria Association Council and the development of strategic partnership between the EU and Tunisia, as well as putting together new EU development funds for Sudan,” Szijjártó said.
He said he had signed an agreement with Guatemalan counterpart Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso on consultations between their respective ministries and on Hungary offering scholarships to students from Guatemala. Hungary encourages the further development of cooperation between the EU and South America, and Guatemala also supports Hungary’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council, he added.
At a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Kosovo Enver Hoxhaj, Szijjártó assured him of Hungary’s continued support for western Balkan integration and allowing Kosovo visa-free status.
Szijjártó said that during a meeting with Perfecto Yasay, the foreign minister of the Philippines, they confirmed an agreement on economic cooperation which will be signed next January. “Trade turnover between Hungary and the Philippines is over 200 million dollars, so we encourage the EU to sign a free trade agreement with the Philippines,” he added.
Szijjártó also held bilateral talks with Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, and with Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
At the meeting with Jagland, Szijjarto said they exchanged views on the refugee crisis and he told the Norwegian politician that nobody can take away the democratic right of Hungarians to decide about the most important issues of their country’s future.
At the meeting with Hochstein, Szijjártó said he had asked the US to help establish energy security in central Europe, especially by encouraging investment projects, such as the Hungarian-Croatian and Hungarian-Romanian interconnectors.
Photo: MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs