Hungary and Bulgaria share views on unresolved issues faced by the European Union and also share response they would give to tackle them, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Sofia after meeting the Bulgarian prime minister and members of his cabinet on Friday.
Hungary and Bulgaria can therefore rely on one another as allies in the upcoming keen debates over the future of the bloc, Peter Szijjarto told a press conference after talks with Boyko Borissov. The two countries stand as allies in the debate concerning illegal migration and agree that it must be halted at the EU’s external borders, he said.
Szijjarto praised Bulgaria for its efforts and “excellent” performance in protecting those borders and expressed Hungary’s support for Bulgaria’s soonest possible admission integration into the EU’s Schengen system. Szijjarto also regarded Bulgaria an ally in protecting Europe’s Christian values which he said both countries considered the foundation of the community.
The foreign minister further noted that he discussed with Borissov Ukraine’s recently passed education law which restricts that country’s minority-language education. The governments of both countries view the new law as “unacceptable” going against European values overall in considerably curbing the rights of Ukraine’s relatively large Hungarian and Bulgarian communities, Szijjarto said. He said both countries would raise an appeal against the new law at all possible European forum.
Hungarian-Bulgarian Economic Cooperation Committee inaugurated
Standpoints shared by Bulgaria and Hungary on issues regarding the fate of Europe can facilitate smooth bilateral economic cooperation with a potential of an unprecedented boost, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told the press in Sofia on Friday, following the inaugural meeting of the Hungarian-Bulgarian Economic Cooperation Governmental Committee.
Political cooperation between the countries is smooth, and they can count on each other as “allies” in a number of areas, Szijjarto said. The two countries work as allies in matters concerning the continent’s energy security, he said. The alliance of Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary will finally pave the way for a new, southern route for supplying Russian gas to the western Balkan region and central Europe by late 2019, the minister added. Through this trilateral cooperation, Hungary will be able to import around six billion cubic metres of gas per year from the south, he said, adding that a new southern gas route would increase the competitiveness of all three economies.
Szijjarto said trade turnover between Hungary and Bulgaria totalled 1.3 billion euros last year and has already exceeded 1 billion euros over the first eight months of 2017. During the minister’s visit, the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH) signed a cooperation agreement with the InvestBulgaria Agency (IBA). Szijjarto said Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a 510 million euro credit line to promote bilateral business ties. The two countries also agreed to set up a fund to support Hungarian and Bulgarian start-ups.
Hungary and Bulgaria will maintain close cooperation in the field of agriculture and the food industry, Szijjarto said, adding that the recent relaunch of direct flights between their two capitals would also allow them to put greater emphasis on tourism relations.
Source and photo: MTI