Berlin, April 4 (MTI) – Germany is Hungary’s top political and trading partner, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said before talks with his German counterpart in Berlin on Monday.

Hungary appreciates Germany’s diplomatic efforts in helping to stabilise Europe’s southern and south-eastern neighbouring regions and in reaching some of the most important multilateral agreements in recent years, Szijjártó told a press conference. Germany’s success contributes greatly to Hungary’s success, he said.

Szijjártó said 2015 was “a year of records” for Hungarian-German economic relations with the bilateral trade volume, Hungary’s export volume to Germany and Germany investments in Hungary all reaching record highs.

Szijjártó said he and Frank-Walter Steinmeier would be discussing Europe’s economic competitiveness and security at their meeting as well as the EU’s relationship with Russia in both contexts. Hungary proposes restoring pragmatic cooperation in EU-Russia relations, he said.

Hungary agrees with the need to address and resolve crises in Europe’s southern and south-eastern neighbouring regions and that extensive international cooperation is needed to establish peace in Syria, the minister said. Syria’s neighbours need adequate support from the EU so that the people who are forced to leave either Syria or other war zones can find refuge in those countries and return to their homes as soon as possible, he added.

Szijjártó said his talks with Steinmeier would also touch on NATO enlargement, expressing hope that the military alliance would remain committed to its open door policy.

Szijjártó expressed condolences over the passing of former German foreign ministers Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Guido Westerwelle.

Steinmeier said that despite some disagreements between the two countries in “daily” European political issues and the migration crisis, Germany remains thankful to Hungary for opening up its border with Austria to East Germans in 1989. He said the late Genscher had strong ties to Hungary and considered the opening up of the border a brave showing of solidarity toward Germans.

Steinmeier said Europe’s joint agreements and strategies for addressing the migration crisis were about to be tested. He said it was too early to judge the “one in, one out” deal between the EU and Turkey concerning Syrian refugees, as its implementation had only just begun.

Photo: MTI


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