Restoring pragmatic cooperation between East and West is a national security interest for Hungary because whenever there was a conflict between the two blocks, central Europe has always suffered from it, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.
The ministry cited Szijjártó as saying at a podium discussion organised by the Antalya Diplomacy Forum and the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade that the existing political and economic world order had recently fallen apart. As a result, the basis for Europe’s economic development, the combination of advanced western technologies and cheap Russian energy resources, has been lost, he added. Nobody knows if the ties currently being cut can be restored in the future, and Eurasian cooperation seems less realistic now, with the armed conflict in Ukraine and the war rhetoric, he said.
“We believed in a future where good cooperation can exist between regional integrations and in a global order where the West and the East can work together in a pragmatic and civilised manner,” he added. Experience from history shows that Hungary and central Europe have always lost out on conflicts between East and West. “We are arguing in support of restoring cooperation because it is a core national security interest and not because we are someone’s spy,” he said.
Even before the war in Ukraine, European discourse had been excessively focused on ideology and politics, he said. Already at that time, it was difficult to negotiate based on pragmatism and common sense, and the armed conflict has further deteriorated the situation, he added. When someone uses a voice of pragmatism and common sense, they are immediately accused of breaking the unity of the EU and NATO, and even representing Russia and the Kreml’s propaganda, he said. There are three issues that could bring overall changes in order to find real solutions to the existing challenges, he added.
The first is a return to mutual respect in international relations, which has been fully missing in recent times, Szijjártó said. The second is for everyone to understand that ideological and political approaches must not overrule physical realities, he said. The third is whether channels of communication can be kept open between the opponents, he added. Regarding the latter, he said efforts by Türkiye were especially important because they helped resolve the problem of Ukrainian grain exports. Hungary’s success depends on how much it can be integrated in the international economy, primarily in its export performance and attracting foreign investments, he added.
Hungary has a vested interest in a strong European Union, with around 80 percent of Hungarian exports directed to other member states, he said. This is also the reason why the government is actively participating in the disputes concerning the community’s future, he added. Dominant political ideologies only weaken the block and the notion of a Unites States of Europe is a dead-end street, he said. A strong EU must be based on strong member states that proudly represent their own cultural, historical and religious roots, he added.
The foreign minister met Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, his Bahraini counterpart, for talks in Budapest on Tuesday. At a joint press conference after the meeting, Szijjártó highlighted that the visit was the first to Hungary by a Bahraini foreign minister. Concerning the war in Ukraine, Szijjártó said Hungary and Bahrein were in agreement on the position that the war should end as soon as possible. “We want peace before this regional war with global impacts develops into a global war. We all would like to avoid that,” he said, adding that Hungary and Bahrein supported settling the conflict through talks.
Szijjártó welcomed the earlier signing by Bahrain of the Abraham Accords normalising relations with Israel. Regarding bilateral economic cooperation, Szijjártó noted that the Hungarian-Bahraini joint economic committee held its inaugural meeting in 2022 and reached an agreement on energy cooperation in the framework of which Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is bringing two types of technologies to Bahrain. The Hungarian foreign minister presented to Al Zayani the Hungarian Order of Merit, Middle Cross, for arranging the issue of documentation to Hungary on the Sinopharm Covid vaccine during the pandemic.
When you distort the facts and play fast with the meaning of your words using words like “Peace” when you mean capitulation, lie about the teachers, puff up your chest when confronted and throw another “what about” instead of addressing Russia, than you are propoganda spreaders.