Budapest, August 4 (MTI) – Parliament’s foreign affairs committee interviewed 24 candidates for ambassadorial positions in the past three days and has approved all of them, Zsolt Nemeth, the head of the committee, told commercial InfoRadio on Monday evening.
Most of the candidates have diplomatic experience and several served as ambassadors or deputies before, Nemeth said, adding that all of them met “the highest professional requirements”.
Nemeth said that Hungary would send new ambassadors to all but one of its embassies in South America and replace a number of its envoys in Arab countries as well as in the Western Balkans. A new ambassador will represent the country in Russia, Ukraine, Portugal, Netherlands, and Spain, while in the case of a further 20 ambassadorial posts candidates will be heard by parliament in the autumn, he added.
A large number of the candidates are career diplomats, but it is also important that there should be political appointees that are “able to creditably represent the government’s philosophy,” Nemeth said, noting a “healthy balance” of the two within the diplomatic corps.
According to custom, the names of the new ambassadors will only be made public after they gain approval from their host countries, he added.
Concerning Romania, where a new Hungarian ambassador has just taken up his post, Nemeth said that the ambassador and the leaders of Hungarian diplomacy will need to re-start dialogue at the highest level, and called Hungary-Romania ties crucial for a strong central Europe. He voiced hope that those ties could gain momentum after Romania’s presidential election in the autumn.
On another subject, Nemeth said that Hungarian Foreign Minister Tibor Navracsics’s mooted appointment as EU commissioner for neighbourhood policy and enlargement would present a “very serious opportunity” to the country.
Nemeth also said that Hungary was interested in a strong, successful and sovereign Ukraine, with special regard to that country’s Hungarian community. He added, on the other hand, that Hungary should manage to retain its room for manoeuvre with Russia, and “maintain a balanced position” in terms of international sanctions against the latter country.