Hungary promotes civilised East-West cooperation along its national interests based on historical experiences, not because it is anyone’s friend or spy, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Friday.
The ministry cited Szijjártó telling a panel discussion at the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum that Europe was facing huge economic challenges which justified in itself that Hungary considers cooperation with central Asia important.
He told the discussion focusing on ways to improve the regional business climate that the world had regrettably started moving towards the formation of blocs. “This is the worst possible news” for central Europe, he said, arguing that history had shown that the region always lost out on conflicts between East and West.
When Hungary argues in favour of connectivity and “civilised” cooperation between East and West, it is not because the country is anybody’s friend or spy but because “we are aware of our own national interests and we are aware of our own national experience,” he added.
The minister said Hungary was a good example of how a country could benefit from civilised East-West cooperation “based on mutual respect and mutual trust and aiming at mutual benefits”.
Hungary has been able to become an important meeting point for investors from the East and West because it has never applied any discrimination against investors based on their nationality, Szijjártó said. This is all the more true in the field of electromobility which is key for the future success of Europe, he added.
The war poses a threat to the normal operation of the world economy, which is why Hungary argues for restoring peace as soon as possible and appreciates the pro-peace position taken by central Asian countries against the war rhetoric, he said.
Europe’s security starts in central Asia because if there is stability in the region, then there is less migratory pressure on Europe, he added.
He called for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the European Union and the countries of central Asia in order to strengthen competitiveness.
Hungary can only conduct civilized conversation with civilized countries. This cannot be said of most EU member countries.