Budapest, May 2 (MTI) – Stopping violence in the Middle East is a prerequisite to building effective cooperation between Europe and that region, the Hungarian foreign minister said on Monday.
Speaking after talks with his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in Budapest, Péter Szijjártó urged direct talks between Israel and Palestine, as well as the implementation of a two-state solution.
The international community cannot leave the two sides alone with the problem, Szijjarto said, adding that Hungary would support any initiative aimed at reviving the peace process in the region.
Concerning bilateral business ties, Szijjártó noted that a Hungarian-Palestinian economic forum scheduled for Monday afternoon would be the first of its kind, and said that Palestine’s diversifying its food and agricultural imports would offer a good opportunity for Hungarian companies. He added that Hungarian companies could also participate in a channel project aimed at linking the Red and Dead seas.
Hungary supports continued humanitarian and development aid for the Palestinian territories, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary has so far donated a total 360 million forints (EUR 1.1m) in aid to Palestine.
The Palestinian minister highlighted the importance of further developing Hungarian-Palestinian ties and pointed to a number of opportunities for cooperation. He also welcomed Hungary’s decision to offer scholarships to 50 Palestinian students as well as Hungary’s contribution to the reconstruction of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.