Speaker Laszlo Kover - Photo: MTI

Kover holds talks with Omani counterpart

Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover met Khalid Al Mawali, chairman of Oman's consultative Shura Council, for talks in Budapest on Friday, parliament's press office said.

Al Mawali is in Budapest to reciprocate Kover’s 2022 visit to Oman, the statement said.

At the meeting, Kover praised the two countries’ “dynamic” relations, noting Oman’s goal of becoming one of the world’s leading green hydrogen hubs. Hungary, Kover added, therefore considered a major success that under an agreement signed last October, it had become Oman’s first central European partner in research and development related to green hydrogen.

Kover also said he had been “greatly saddened” to hear about the effects of the devastating weather ravaging the Omani Sultanate lately, including the floods that killed more than 20 people. He expressed his thanks to the Omani authorities for their rescue efforts during which they airlifted two Hungarians to safety. He expressed his sympathies to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

Meanwhile, Kover underscored the importance of the contribution of moderate countries like Oman to the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts.

He said Oman was a reliable partner in a region that was facing major challenges. Hungary’s position, he said, shared similarities with Muscat’s “stable foreign policy” which was committed to staying out of other countries’ internal affairs, peaceful coexistence and cooperation.

Hungary’s foreign policy places heavy emphasis on developing political, trade, investment and industrial ties with the Gulf countries, including the Omani Sultanate, Kover said, adding that Hungary also had high hopes for bilateral cooperation in energy affairs.

Oman, a major LNG exporter, can also play a key role in the diversification of Hungary’s energy mix in the medium and long term, the speaker said. He also underlined the importance of boosting bilateral economic ties and developing opportunities for cooperation in the areas of tourism, education, water management and water purification.

Kover and Al Mawali both highlighted the importance of their student exchange programme and the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarships Hungary offers to 50 Omani university students each year, calling the scheme an investment into the future.

As the next president of the Council of the European Union, Kover offered Hungary’s help in bolstering relations between the EU and Oman. This, he added, would be significantly helped by allowing Omani citizens visa-free travel to the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone, which Hungary would continue to support.

As regards parliamentary ties, Kover said Oman’s Shura Council was an important partner for Hungary in the region, adding that meetings between their countries’ speakers and senior parliamentary officials contributed greatly to strengthening parliamentary cooperation.

Kover congratulated Al Mawali on being bestowed the title of Honorary Citizen of the National University of Public Service.

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