Budapest, October 1 (MTI) – Hungarian diplomacy will focus on enforcing the country’s economic interests most effectively within the new world order, Peter Szijjarto said today.

“We will lay the foundations of Hungary’s new foreign policy irreversibly, for ever,” the new minister of foreign affairs and trade told a press conference in Budapest.

Responding to a question, Szijjarto said that the ministry had not yet started talks concerning German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel’s possible visit to Budapest.

Cabinet chief Janos Lazar announced after talks in Berlin on Tuesday that Merkel may be scheduled to visit Hungary in the first quarter of 2015.

Szijjarto also said that although the United States is Hungary’s strategic ally and friend, and it is proper to listen to the voice of friends, Hungary should protest whenever remarks that lack a factual basis are made.

In a recent address Barack Obama delivered at the annual conference of the Clinton Global Initiative, the US president mentioned Hungary among countries which restrict civil society.

Szijjarto said that he would visit Washington, DC in late October for economic and political talks.

Concerning Ukraine, the minister stressed that Hungary advocates a negotiated settlement and it had doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions.

He emphasised that central Europe’s strength lay in cooperation, which is a vested interest of the Visegrad Four, too.

Szijjarto called Hungarian-Romanian cooperation of strategic importance, adding that Hungary strives for effective, balanced and stable relations.

Concerning Tibor Navracsics’s nomination for European commissioner, Szijjarto said the government had delegated the best possible candidate. It is another matter, however, what political attacks he would be exposed to in the European Parliament, but this has nothing to do with his personal qualities or ideas, he said.

Outlining the ministry’s new structure, Szijjarto said that state secretary Laszlo Szabo would be promoted to parliamentary state secretary and deputy minister. The state secretariat for economic diplomacy will be led by Levente Magyar. Istvan Ijgyarto, who is now deputy state secretary for eastern opening, will become the state secretary in charge of cultural diplomacy. Balazs Kohut, the state secretary of economic affairs, will become administrative state secretary.

Szijjarto announced that he would pay his first official visit abroad to Bratislava next Tuesday.

The minister said he had convened a consultation with the seven parliamentary parties by Thursday, and would also consult with his predecessors.

Photo: MTI – Lajos Soos


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