Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto holds talks with former Lebanese FM

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto held talks with former Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, in Budapest on Saturday.

One of the pillars of Hungary’s Christian foreign policy is providing assistance to Christian communities in need, Szijjarto said at their joint press conference.

He said international politics should be about building relations, not about breaking them.

“If you listen to European politicians, you can mostly hear about what separates us and what makes us different from other parts of the world. For some reason, there is less talk about what connects us and what we have in common,” he added.

“It is clearly in Hungary’s national interest to establish civilised cooperation between East and West. The cooperation between Hungary and Lebanon is an excellent example to this,” he said. He added that respect for each other and the shared Christian heritage provided a stable basis for this, as Hungary has a thousand-year-old Christian statehood, and Lebanon is home to the oldest Christian communities.

Szijjarto said that mayors Andras Cser-Palkovics and Marcellino Hark signed a twinning agreement between their cities, Szekesfehervar and Batroun, which further strengthened the friendship of the two nations.

He noted that the government had provided close to 5 billion forints (EUR 13.0m) for the preservation and renovation of ancient Christian sites in Lebanon and the renovation of sixty-six medieval churches was under way with Hungarian assistance.

Based on tied-aid agreements signed this year, the government is providing 140 million forints for the renovation of a historical monument, the reconstruction of a monastery church and an orphanage, and the operation of Protestant schools in Lebanon.

Leave a Reply