Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó held bilateral talks with counterparts from Iraq, Turkey, Malaysia, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia and Australia during a visit to Kuwait on Tuesday.
Szijjártó is attending a foreign ministerial meeting of the global coalition set up to defeat the Islamic State terrorist organisation.
He told MTI over the phone that he had agreed with his Iraqi counterpart on Baghdad granting visas to all members of a Hungarian contingent to arrive in Iraq to replace the current contingent.
Hungary has increased the number of soldiers stationed in Iraq from 150 to 200 and the new soldiers are scheduled to arrive there in late February, he added.
The two ministers also agreed that Hungary will offer medical treatment to twenty Iraqi soldiers wounded in the fights against the IS. Similarly to last year, Hungary will again offer a training course on bomb disposal to members of the Iraqi army this year.
Szijjártó confirmed for his Turkish counterpart that Hungary, as a dedicated supporter of the global war against terrorism, will always bear solidarity with Turkey in its counter-terrorism efforts. Economic cooperation between Hungary and Turkey has been expanding and total trade exceeded 3 billion dollars by the end of last year, he added.
Szijjártó and his Malaysian counterpart finalised a document on economic cooperation.
They also agreed about educational exchange and to grant 40 Malaysian students Hungarian scholarships.
A document on agricultural cooperation has also been finalised, he said.
Malaysia is one of Hungary’s key trade partners in the region, with bilateral trade up by 31 percent last year.
Szijjártó and his Slovenian counterpart discussed the issue of cross-border infrastructure. They agreed that a new road will be opened between Lendvadedes and Dolga Vas (Hosszúfalu) this year. They held talks on linking the two countries’ gas networks. The Slovenian side promised to finish the works required for a connection between the two countries’ electricity grids by 2019. The Hungarian facilities required for the link are already in place.
Szijjártó and his Saudi Arabian counterpart discussed the Middle East peace process and conflicts in the Arab Gulf.
The Hungarian minister said that the region’s stability is also in Hungary’s interest because “no matter what happens in this region, it will have an almost immediate effect on Europe’s security.”
Szijjártó said he also met his Australian counterpart who is scheduled to pay an official visit in Hungary on February 22 where he will also meet other Visegrad Group foreign ministers.
featured image: MTI