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Gulyas marks 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Germany

Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, attended a conference marking the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Hungary and Germany, in Budapest on Monday.

Ties between the two countries “are so deeply rooted and so complex that they cannot be assessed exclusively on basis of the political situation at the moment,” he said in his address.

Hungarian-German relations are “good, intensive, and affect many areas of life,” Gulyas said.

Gulyas noted that “it has always been the German economy and German culture that had the strongest presence in Hungary”, adding that “friendship between the two peoples has prevailed even in the hardest times.” He also added that “though we will have better political ties, we can be proud of our economic and cultural relations.”

As for the economy, he said Germany’s presence was “decidedly strong”, Hungarian-German business transactions accounting for 25 percent of Hungary’s foreign trade turnover. Ninety percent of German investors in Hungary are “most satisfied” with the business environment, he added.

Citing surveys, Gulyas said most Germans viewed Hungarians positively, while over two-thirds of Hungarians had expressed their preferences for Germany.

Hungary has an interest in Germany having a stable government, in maintaining good ties with that country and that “dialouge should remain factual in all areas”.

“Hardly any other countries have such strong linguistic and cultural ties; this is what should be appreciated in politics,” he said. “Politics is working to worsen the situation but the overall picture is not as bad that we should despair,” he added.

Former German ambassador to Hungary Ursula Seiler-Albring said bilateral ties were “friendly and resting on good foundations”. She said that “while there may be temporary tensions” the do not make good relations impossible and the parties “stay in communication and seek solutions that are acceptable for both sides”. “Germans and Hungarians have always understood each other well,” she added.

Julia Gross, the incumbent ambassador, expressed her country’s gratitude for Hungary’s role in the process of Germany’s reunification.” “We will always be grateful to Hungary,” she said.

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