Tehran, November 30 (MTI) – A new era has opened up in relations between Hungary and Iran, the Hungarian prime minister said in Tehran on Monday.
Viktor Orban had talks with several senior government officials and signed various bilateral agreements, such as one of avoiding double taxation and another on intensifying investments.
The premier was greeted with military honours in the Iranian capital on the first day of his two-day official visit.
The Hungarian delegation comprises several ministers and business leaders.
After talks with Iran’s first deputy president, Orban told a news conference that he welcomed Iran having “weathered” the period of sanctions and its return to the global economy and politics.
“It is for us Hungarians a special experience to be here in Tehran, the centre of a great civilisation,” Orban said. “We have come here to represent a culture of respect,” he said, adding that the region and its complex issues cannot be stabilised without Iran.
There are 1,116 Iranian students studying currently in Hungary who will be key participants in shaping Hungarian-Iranian relations in the future, Orban said. Cooperation in this area should be deepened, he said.
Eshaq Jahangiri, the deputy president, said that he trusted Orban’s current visit would boost economic ties which had waned considerably over the past few years. He identified energy, agriculture, science and culture as prospective areas of cooperation. He said Iran welcomes Hungarian companies seeking investment opportunities in his country.
Before the press conference, the Hungarian and Iranian foreign ministers signed a cooperation agreement on the two countries’ foreign ministries and a declaration of intent on economic cooperation.
Further bilateral agreements covered future cooperation in cultural heritage protection and tourism, science and education, health care, and communications innovation, signed by ministers in charge of the respective areas of the two countries.
Speaking at a business forum, Orban said Iran stood on the cusp of a major economic advance. Addressing around 200 Hungarian and Iranian businesspeople, the prime minister noted the establishment of a Hungary-Iran mixed economic committee and the opening of a Hungarian trade office in Tehran. He commended that Iran during “a period of heavy sanctions” had stored up great potential which could start a great economic era in the country’s development. “It is not by chance that the western countries that were the most ardent supporters of the sanctions against Iran are now sending delegations to the country, one after the other,” he said.
Copy editor: bm