Hungary highly values the United States’ efforts towards helping to resolve the conflict with Ukraine over the neighbouring country’s recent laws infringing on the rights of minorities, the foreign minister said after meeting a senior US State Department official in Budapest on Wednesday.
Peter Szijjarto held talks with Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. The minister told reporters that he reaffirmed to the US official Hungary’s interest in resolving the conflict instead of keeping the issue on the agenda.
“Hungary’s ambition is to guarantee that the around 150,000 Hungarians can live in security in the Transcarpathia region and exercise their rights,” he said.
Hungary also wants to achieve that Ukraine fulfill its obligations assumed in international and bilateral treaties, he said.
Szijjarto noted that Hungary’s prime minister had sent his government’s memorandum assessing recent developments in Ukrainian legislation restricting minority rights to NATO’s secretary-general and the prime ministers of the NATO member states. Viktor Orban has at the same time initiated that Ukraine exempt the minorities of NATO member states in its territory from implementing the new laws that affect their rights, Szijjarto added.
“In terms of Hungary-US relations we have reaffirmed that the two countries are strategic partners and allies”, Szijjarto said. Hungary and the United States share strategic interests that include a commitment towards developing ties between central Europe and the US, he said. Szijjarto said they agreed on renewing the bilateral defence cooperation concluded 20 years ago in an effort to respond to new challenges.
Economic cooperation was also discussed, Szijjarto said, noting that the US is the second largest foreign investor present in Hungary with 1,700 businesses that employ some 100,000 people. Hungary and the US work in close cooperation towards reforming the United Nations, Szijjarto said, adding that both countries agree on the need to modernise the world organisation’s institutions, as well as to streamline and speed up its procedures.
“This visit continues a series of recent high-level engagements between American and Hungarian officials, and reflects our deep and longstanding bilateral ties,” the US embassy’s statement reminded, adding that Mitchell had productive discussions. “Mitchell stated that the United States and Hungary are bound together as allies in NATO and are jointly committed to a shared set of democratic values and freedoms,” they wrote.
Source: MTI/Hungary Journal