Budapest, February 6 (MTI) – Hungary and Germany’s foreign ministers on Monday marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of a friendship agreement between their countries.
The Hungarian-German agreement on friendly cooperation and European partnership was signed by the two countries’ leaders at the time, Prime Minister József Antall and Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, on February 6, 1992. It envisaged regular political dialogue on international affairs, including annual meetings between the two countries’ prime ministers and foreign ministers.
In a statement issued on Monday, Péter Szijjártó and Sigmar Gabriel said the friendship agreement laid the foundations for Hungary and Germany’s bilateral relations. Over the past years, Hungary and Germany have formed a strong partnership in the European Union and NATO, the ministers said, adding that the goals and responsibilities laid out in the friendship agreement were still valid to this day.
The agreement was a natural product of the unparalleled “peaceful revolution” that took place in Europe, they said.
Just as 25 years ago, the two countries still prize the creation of a European unity built on respect for basic freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, the statement said. The ministers highlighted the preservation of Europe’s prosperity, security, cohesion, the protection of minorities and contribution to the continent’s economic growth and competitiveness as their countries’ shared goals.
The minister of human resources, Zoltán Balog, told an event in Budapest that common historical and cultural roots are needed for successful German-Hungarian cooperation. Attending a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the pact, Balog noted that Germany is Hungary’s most important economic partner and its largest foreign investor.
“This is a prospering relationship between two peoples that understand one another,” he said.
He said one of today’s most burning questions is what role Europe and the EU will play in solving global problems. “It is extremely important that Europe should find its own, common responses,” Balog argued.
Referring to Hungary’s fence on the EU’s external border, Balog said its purpose was not primarily to protect Hungary but to safeguard the Schengen zone, which included the protection of Germany.