Budapest, February 27 (MTI) – Hungary strives for good state and government relations with Romania and for this dialogue is needed, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday after talks with his Romanian counterpart.
“Without dialogue there will never be common successes or trust between the two countries, their peoples and their governments,” Szijjártó said, adding that the current rocky patch in ties would hopefully be resolved. “No one disputes there are sensitive issues which fundamentally relate to ethnic minorities,” he said.
The minister said that out of all of Hungary’s bilateral relationships, the one with Romania was the most sensitive so issues concerning Hungarian-Romanian ties should be approached carefully, he said, adding that the two countries should choose “simplicity over sophistry” and handle the issues with the two countries’ shared interests in mind.
If relations between Hungary and Romania’s governments are good, all Hungarians and Romanians will benefit, regardless of which country’s territory they live on, Szijjártó insisted.
He said Hungary and Romania were in need of more border crossing points in order to advance ties. The two countries will therefore explore the possibility of opening up the two busiest border stations out of the ten that only operate on the weekends to full-time use, he added.
On another subject, Szijjártó said that while Hungary and Romania’s gas pipeline systems are linked, currently gas can only be transported from Hungary to Romania. Romania, however, has promised that its gas interconnector with Hungary would be running at full capacity and supplying gas in both directions by 2020, Szijjártó added.
Regarding economic relations, Szijjártó noted that Romania was Hungary’s second largest export market. To promote business ties between Hungarian and Romanian companies, Hungary’s Eximbank will open a 514 million euro credit line, he said.
He also said Romania was the first foreign country in which energy company MVM had acquired ownership in the field of renewable energy and was getting ready to undertake further investments. Oil and gas company MOL, OTP Bank and drugmaker Richter also have a strong presence in Romania, he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary and Romania both considered nuclear energy an important energy source.
Teodor Melescanu, Romania’s head of diplomacy, said both sides were approaching these issues candidly and with the intention of finding solutions so that relations can develop to the advantage of both countries. He proposed that the Hungarian and Romanian governments should hold a joint session.
Melescanu said he and Szijjártó had focused mainly on topics on which the two country’s positions are closer, adding, at the same time, that they had not neglected issues on which they disagree, either.
Melescanu invited his Hungarian counterpart to speak before Romania’s ambassadors in the autumn.