New Delhi – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said relations between the two countries have remained on a “steady course” over the years and both the countries would be each other’s bridge to Europe and Asia.

“Our relations have remained on a steady course through the tumult and change in Europe and the world. The growing presence of Indian companies in Hungary is indicative of the promise of our relationship.

“We also value the support we have received from Hungary in international forums. All this leads me to believe that Hungary and India can find great opportunities in each other and also be each other’s bridge to Europe and Asia,” Singh said while hosting a dinner for visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

He said the tradition of affection and goodwill between our people, together with our shared democratic values and the rich possibilities of our economic partnership, provide an enduring foundation for a strong partnership between the two countries.

Hailing Orbán for steering his country on the path to enconmic recovery, Singh said the Hungarian leader has “exemplified the spirit for which your country is well-known”.

“Through the last half century and more, the people of India have borne witness to the resolve of the Hungarian people. The most recent occasion was in the momentous years of 1988-89 when they succeeded in restoring democracy in Hungary and ending an era of division in Europe.

“We have seen with admiration and joy Hungary’s rapid transformation since then,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that with his first visit to India, Orbán has demonstrated that opportunities in our integrated world are determined not by size or distance but by imagination and initiative.

Orbán has extended his support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in an expanded United Nations Security Council while lauding the country’s economic growth amid the global slowdown.


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