Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary, Qatar agree on strategic cooperation

Hungary and Qatar have agreed on elevating their cooperation to a strategic level with the aim of seeking solutions to the greatest challenges of the era together, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Monday.

After a summit between the two countries, Szijjarto told a press conference that the agreement focused on cooperation in energy, agriculture and water management.

Szijjarto and his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, also signed an agreement on cooperation in environmental protection and on diplomatic training.

“We are basically looking for solutions to today’s most important challenges together, and cooperation with Qatar will contribute to successfully meeting those challenges,” Szijjarto said.

He said Qatar and Hungary had both been on the receiving end of “ruthless and unfounded attacks by the liberal mainstream” recently. “Hungary and Qatar know well the pressure a patriotic government focused on national interests can face,” he said, adding that this laid the foundations for mutual understanding.

Both governments believe in a dialogue based on mutual respect, and have built their foreign policy on that principle, he said.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, Hungary and Qatar are both pro-peace, and agree that negotiations are the only way to broker peace in the country, he added. To achieve that, channels of communication must be kept open, he said.

Qatar has recently worked to broker peace in several armed conflicts through the UN and other international organisations worldwide, and Hungary will continue to support those efforts, he said.

He praised Qatar’s initiative to use sports as a means to create peace. The World Athletics championships under way in Budapest have highlighted the role of sports as a conduit for mutual respect and cooperation between nations, he said.

Meanwhile, energy security is in crisis in Europe, and new resources are needed in its energy mix, Szijjarto said. Qatar, “the number-one exporter of LNG worldwide”, will be available to deliver to Hungary from 2027 under a political agreement, he said.

Companies in both countries have already started negotiations on the amount and the delivery route, Szijjarto said.

Meanwhile, Hungary and Qatar have concluded important agreements on agriculture and water management, sectors with world-class Hungarian technology much in demand in the Gulf region, Szijjarto said.

“We will also strengthen cooperation within the UN, supporting Qatar’s nominations and counting on the same for Hungary in important international organisations,” Szijjarto said.

“Hungary was honoured to have hosted a number of respected international leaders on its national holiday on August 20. That is an acknowledgement of Hungary’s weight in international politics,” Szijjarto said.

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