Szijjarto: Losing Iran nuclear deal would be regrettable

The Iran nuclear agreement is an international political achievement that would be a pity to ditch, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Wednesday. Hungary’s chief diplomat also discussed the country’s foreign policy and dispute with Ukraine at various events.

“The reason the deal carries global and historic significance is that it was the most important agreement reached in the last decades by the international community in which the United States and Russia sat on the same side of the table. This has always given hope when it comes to finding solutions to major global issues,”

the minister said after delivering a lecture at the National University of Public Service. He said that from Europe’s point of view it was an international issue in which the EU genuinely plays an important role. So it is right for Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief diplomat, to make a stand on the issue, he added. He said hopefully the Iran deal would endure with the remaining players involved in spite of the withdrawal of the United States.

Iran’s stability and involvement in international politics is important in terms of Europe’s security because it determines wider stability in the Middle East, he said.
Szijjarto said that Hungary agrees with the EU’s position and common statements, adding that he trusted there would be no return to the situation prior to the agreement.
Hungary has an interest in the deal’s survival and regrets the US decision, he said. “Hopefully it won’t be completely abolished,” he said.

Hungarian foreign policy in the next four years will continue to aim towards protecting the country’s sovereignty and security while improving its economic competitiveness, Peter Szijjarto said earlier, in his lecture. The minister added that protecting sovereignty and security was an important goal but the endeavour was bound to lead to legal and political battles.

He said the EU had never before faced such a combination of challenges as migration, terrorism, the war in Ukraine, Brexit and energy security. “The problem is not that there’s a debate,” he said. “But when someone represents a point of view that diverges from the mainstream, it is a problem if they are branded as un-European.” He said there was common agreement shared by Hungary on the ultimate goal of having a strong Europe. Hungary believes that strong member states are a precondition for a strong EU, he added.

Szijjarto said migration was not a fundamental human right. Hungary maintains that everyone can live in peace and security in their own country, and this must be guaranteed to everyone. Hungary also insists that a key attribute of sovereignty is a country’s ability to guard its own border, Szijjarto said. Every country also has the right to determine what responses it gives to its economic and demographic challenges, he added. On the topic of the next EU budget, he said EU money for central European member states was based on the contractual fulfilment of obligations. Western member states profited enormously when central European countries opened up their markets, he added.

Szijjarto has accused the European Union of putting the rights of migrants ahead of those of the Hungarian minority living in western Ukraine.

“We are forced to engage in a constant debate with Brussels over which human rights of migrants should be respected, while here in Transcarpathia there are 150,000 Hungarians whose fundamental right is to live in their own home in safety and use their own language,”

he told a press conference after meeting the head of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ), Laszlo Brenzovics. The minister said it appeared that migrants were more important to Brussels than Hungarians in Ukraine. He said the situation regarding laws violating the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian minority had worsened in recent days. Rather than comply with the decisions of the various international forums, the Ukrainian government has introduced initiatives that have made the situation worse, Szijjarto said.

Source and photo: MTI

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