Budapest (MTI) – Relations between Hungary and Georgia are deepening, Zsolt Németh, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said after a meeting between the committee and a delegation led by Sophio Katsarava, his Georgian counterpart, in Budapest on Wednesday.
The two sides were in agreement that Hungary and Georgia’s views are very similar both on bilateral relations and international issues, Németh told MTI after the talks.
One major aspect of the two countries’ ties is that the establishment of direct air connection between Hungary and Georgia has given a boost to tourism and economic ties, he said.
Németh welcomed that Hungary had increased the number of Georgian students it will offer Stipendium Hungaricum scholarships to from 50 to 80. Georgia is also offering scholarships to five Hungarian students wishing to study in that country, he said.
He said the two countries have several joint projects in the pipeline.
Németh also said Georgia had expressed great interest in the Visegrad Four grouping of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. He said it was important for the V4 to represent the interests of its eastern partners, including Georgia, within the European Union.
He said the EU was preparing to redefine its Eastern Partnership programme, adding that the cooperation between Hungary and Georgia, as well as the V4 and their eastern partners, could be a key factor in the EU’s ability to “breathe new life” into the programme.
Nemeth also underlined the importance of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic orientation and of assuring the West’s eastern partners that NATO is about security and not spheres of interest. He noted that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly would soon be holding a meeting in Tbilisi and expressed hope that the meeting would advance this view.
Katsarava said economic, trade, education and government relations between Hungary and Georgia were traditionally good, adding that today’s meeting was aimed at deepening parliamentary ties. She said Hungary supports Georgia’s territorial independence and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.