Hungary has a vested interest in close cooperation between the European Union and the US and believes it important that cooperation is based on mutual respect, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday.
“We are certainly ready to do our utmost in working with the president elected by the American people and his administration to ensure the best possible cooperation between the EU and the US, as well as between Hungary and the US,” he told the press after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Hungary views economic and investment cooperation with the US as very important, he said. Considering that a close-knit, competitive and export-oriented free trade zone is being developed in the East, it would be desirable to eliminate some of the obstacles to trade also in the West, he added.
Commenting on a human rights sanctions regime adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council meeting which will enter into force on Tuesday, he said that national minority rights also belonged to human rights. Intimidation of members of the ethnic Hungarian community has remained part of government policy in Ukraine, and the rights of the minority are continually violated, he said.
“Let’s be sensitive to human rights not only when they are being violated thousands of kilometres away but also when it happens in our neighbourhood and when a country supposedly on its way to the EU keeps a community that belongs to an EU member state under attack”, he said.
Commenting on the parliamentary elections in Romania, he congratulated to ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania and Szekler land on their results and said that the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) has “confidently” gained enough support to be well above the threshold to get in parliament and consequently ethnic Hungarians will have strong representation in Bucharest.
“Strong ethnic Hungarian representation in Bucharest will contribute to Hungarian and Romanian relations developing in the right direction,” he said.
“Hungary is ready to cooperate with the future Romanian government on the basis of mutual trust,” he added.
Commenting on remarks by former Prime Minister Victor Ponta accusing him of interfering in the Romanian election campaign, Szijjártó said that ahead of the parliamentary elections in Hungary in 2013, Ponta addressed an opposition Socialist assembly with ten thousand participants.
Commenting on a conflict caused by Turkish drilling in the Mediterranean, he said Hungary was in support of negotiations and wanted to see allies that hold membership in several organisations to find a common voice and settle the conflict by talks in a way that satisfies all three affected countries. Hungary is offering its help to finding a resolution, which will be confirmed at talks planned to be held in Ankara on Tuesday, he added.