Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary, Kazakhstan preserve own cultural, national characteristics

Despite all the pressure, Hungary and Kazakhstan continue preserving their own culture and national characteristics which makes both countries strong and enables their survival during crises, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Astana on Thursday.

The ministry cited Szijjarto as stating that a street had been named after Hungarian 19th century reform poet Sandor Petofi in the Kazakh capital which he said was another expression of respect by the Kazakhs towards Hungary and Hungarian culture.

“These days international politics are mostly characterised by condemning, lecturing and criticising one another,” he said.

“We would like international politics to return to the grounds of mutual respect,” Szijjarto said. “But mutual respect can be demonstrated only by countries that are self-assured, and have rich and respectful culture,” he added.

“We are proud to have both and we insist on all of this despite the pressure put on us to get rid of our culture, heritage and national characteristics,” he said.

“We will always insist on our culture, and we will protect it because this culture and national heritage is what makes us strong,” the minister said.

He also said that there were only 13-14 million Hungarian speakers in the world and Hungarian is a difficult language so it requires great effort from any foreigner who wants to read Hungarian literature in the original.

He welcomed the recent publication of a collection of 196 poems by Petofi translated to Kazakh.

Finance Minister meets Kazakh counterpart

Finance Minister Mihaly Varga met his Kazakh counterpart Yerulan Zhamaubayev to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in the areas of politics and security, the economy, energy, water management, farming and education between the two countries in Astana on Thursday, the finance ministry said.

Varga, who is co-chairman of the Hungarian-Kazakh Intergovernmental Economic Cooperation Committee, chairman of Parliament’s Hungarian-Kazakh Friendship Group and co-chairman of the Hungarian-Kazakh Strategic Council, said Kazakhstan is our most important trade partner in Central Asia.

He noted that bilateral trade grew by 80 percent to reach 450 million dollars in January-July this year.

Varga said Hungary’s main area of exports was pharmaceuticals, but he could see potential for further cooperation opportunities in the green economy, water management, farming, the energy industry and healthcare.

Varga is travelling as part of a delegation visiting Kazakhstan, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, to have bilateral talks and to attend the 10th summit of the Organization of Turkic States.

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