Hungary and Israel are set to open a new chapter in their relations, as the two countries’ focus on advances in the car industry will create new opportunities for bilateral cooperation, Hungary’s foreign minister told commercial radio on Tuesday.
Péter Szijjártó told Inforadio that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ongoing visit to Hungary, the first one by an Israeli prime minister since Hungary’s change of regime, was significant because Hungary holds the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group and because of the support Hungary has shown Israel in international forums.
Szijjártó said Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia have always been among the European countries that have applied a fair approach to Israel.
The minister also spoke about V4 relations, saying that it was “completely normal” for the four countries to disagree on certain issues, arguing that they are all sovereign states. “This should not be seen as a tragedy,” Szijjártó insisted. At the same time, the V4 share a lot of common interests, he said, noting their shared stance on the debate surrounding the future of the European Union, Brexit, the issue of the next EU budget and migration.
He said Hungary will strive to strengthen the global role of the V4 during its presidency, adding that the group’s recent meeting with the Egyptian president and the upcoming meeting with Netanyahu both served this purpose. “It will be an active presidency” which has been made necessary by the “historic challenges” facing Europe, Szijjártó said.
On another subject, the minister said Hungary’s new ambassador to the United States, László Szabó, would receive his credentials on Wednesday. Szabó is set to take up his post in Washington, DC at the end of the month. “He will have countless new tasks,” Szijjártó said, noting that the Trump administration is pursuing “a completely new type of economic policy”.
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