Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary to boost cooperation with UAE

Hungary and the United Arab Emirates have both benefitted a lot from their cooperation and are prepared to further develop their relations, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Budapest on Thursday.

Bilateral trade turnover increased by 8 percent last year, and Hungarian exports to the UAE are up by 18 percent so far this year, Szijjarto told a joint press conference with UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri, according to a ministry statement.

Szijjarto welcomed that the two countries have signed an agricultural cooperation agreement, which he said would create more opportunities to export Hungarian food products and technologies to the Gulf country.

He said a space exploration cooperation agreement signed by the two countries demonstrated the scope of their cooperation and would promote the internationalisation of Hungary’s space programme.

The minister also touched on the investment project to redevelop the Rakosrendezo area in Budapest’s 14th district, which he said would give new momentum to the capital’s development.

“A new, modern, green and sustainable quarter will be developed around the Rakosrendezo train station which today is an abandoned derelict area,” Szijjarto said. “We will revive this area and give it back to Budapest residents and the Hungairan people. It will be turned into a new, modern green district with complex sports, tourism, residential, economic and business functions.”

Szijjarto said the preparatory public procurement work was already under way, and the aim was to turn the area over to the property developer in September.

As regards energy cooperation, Szijjarto said he and bin Touq Al-Marri had agreed to elevate their countries’ cooperation on research, education and training and to take a joint stand against discrimination against nuclear energy.

On the topic of global and regional security, Szijjarto expressed Hungary’s appreciation for the UAE’s “wise, restrained, moderate and responsible behavior with which it plays an extremely important stabilising role in the Middle East”.

Underlining the negative economic impact of armed conflicts, Szijjarto said the settlement of these conflicts was a serious economic interest.

He said the Gaza crisis and terrorist attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea posed a risk of price surges in Europe.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region to restore the freedom and security of maritime trade in the Red Sea, which is a clear European and clear Hungarian interest,” the minister said.

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