Tamas Sulyok - Photo: MTI

President Sulyok calls for deepening dialogue with Poland

Hungarian President Tamas Sulyok underscored the importance of maintaining and deepening dialogue between Hungary and Poland, after meeting his Polish counterpart in Stary Sacz, in southern Poland, on Friday.

Polish-Hungarian friendship goes back over a millennium and is deeply rooted in Hungarian society, Sulyok, who is on a working visit to Poland on the occasion of the Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship, told a joint press conference with Andrzej Duda.

“We in central and eastern Europe share a common cause and destiny, and this is what has united the two countries since the time of Kinga of Poland,” he said.

Sulyok said his talks with Duda had touched on the Three Seas Initiative, the importance of military development, minorities and bilateral trade relations.

He said Hungarians and Poles had always known when it was important to fight for freedom, and history had always shown that the two countries could only be free, equal and fast-growing countries in Europe when they were united.

Hungary and Poland, he said, also had several shared interests when it came to foreign policy. Hungary is proud that its defence spending reaches 2 percent of GDP, he said, adding that the upgrade of the military was a priority for Hungary as well as for Poland.

The two nations are also bound together by their national minority communities in each other’s countries, Sulyok said. There is a Polish minority in Kaposvar, in southern Hungary, he noted, and extended an invitation to Duda to mark the Day of Hungarian-Polish Friendship in Kaposvar next year.

Sulyok said they were both open to dialogue and cooperation, which was important for finding common ground. He said Poland was Hungary’s third biggest trading partner in 2023, and highlighted the close relations between the two countries’ legislative assemblies.

Meanwhile, Sulyok said both he and Duda considered the Three Seas Initiative and the Bucharest Nine (B9) group important. He stressed the importance of “every project that supports European cohesion and economic growth”.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said Poland and Hungary were leaders in NATO in terms of defence spending.

Duda noted that Hungary was spending 3 percent of its GDP on defence and Poland was spending over 4 percent.

“In this respect, we are leaders in terms of fulfilling the requirements of NATO,” the Polish president said. Citing the “changing global and European security situation”, Duda reiterated a proposal he made earlier that NATO members should raise their defence spending to 3 percent of GDP.

On Saturday, Sulyok is scheduled to lay a wreath at the tomb of Jadwiga of Poland in Wawel Cathedral.


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