Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Political agreement struck on buying Qatari LNG

Hungary has struck a political agreement on buying Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG), Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Doha on Wednesday, adding that the long-term contract for the post-2026 period would boost the country's energy security.

Hungary needs an increasing number of energy sources, though the idea was not to replace existing suppliers, a ministry statement quoted Szijjarto as saying after the minister met his Qatari counterpart and the ministers of energy and finance.

Qatar will expand its LNG exports considerably from 2026, he said, noting that a previous political agreement had paved the way for inter-company talks on transit. Various options are available, such as via the LNG terminals in Turkey, Greece or Poland, he said, adding that investments to expand capacity along the south-eastern European direction would be required as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto welcomed the steady development of bilateral economic ties and a new export record.

He said last year Hungary’s economy had run smoothly without European Union funds and investment and export records had been set, something which Qatar valued, adding that Hungary was seen as reliable and attractive investment destination.

Infrastructure investments and financial cooperation could be expected in the coming period, he added.

Addressing the war in the Middle East, the minister said global action was required to prevent escalation.

He said clashes between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as attacks on commercial ships and American military bases in the region, were “negative developments”.

Szijjarto said that countries that were sufficiently influential that acted responsibly may play a stabilising role, and “Qatar, in particular, is such a country”.

He also hailed Doha’s role in freeing some of the hostages taken by Hamas, three of whom were Hungarian citizens. Another Hungarian citizen is being held hostage, he said, adding that he had asked his Qatari counterpart to help in the soonest possible repatriation.

Hopefully talks on new prisoner exchanges would be successful sooner or later, he said, “if possible sooner”.

Szijjarto: Qatar’s role critical in securing release of Hamas hostages

Qatar has so far played a crucial role in securing the release of the hostages taken by Hamas from Israel, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Wednesday, noting that the three Hungarian citizens who have been released could not have gone free without the help of the Gulf country.

“I have now asked my friend Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, the state minister for foreign affairs, for Qatar’s help in freeing the last Hungarian citizen being held hostage,” Szijjarto said on Facebook. “My friend, Soltan, has assured me that Qatar will carry on with its efforts in the interest of a ceasefire and in securing the release of the hostages.”

“We greatly appreciate Qatar’s efforts, as it is clear that the Gaza conflict is giving rise to more and more conflicts and crises in the region, which must be avoided,” he said.

“We must pay especially close attention to ensuring that there is no new front between Hezbollah and Israel and that the Red Sea is safe for shipping again,” Szijjarto added.

The conflict in the Middle East has been a matter of deep global concern for more than three and a half months now, the minister said, adding that the longer the conflict went on, the greater the threat of escalation would be.

The international community must now focus on preventing the conflict from spreading beyond the region and on doing everything possible to free hostages held by Hamas, Szijjarto said.

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