Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Foreign minister vows to keep diplomacy ‘Hungarian, sovereign, despite pressure’

Hungary's foreign policy will "stay Hungarian and sovereign," Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told ambassadors on Monday, adding that the Hungarian government "will not give in to any international pressure" and keep national interests in its focus.

Speaking at an annual conference for Hungarian diplomats, Szijjarto said the government’s primary focus was to ensure Hungary’s security and development amid “Europe’s gravest economic and security challenges of all times”.

Szijjarto suggested the government’s measures “will certainly run contrary to the expectations of the international liberal mainstream” and “diplomats need to be prepared to do their work under great international pressure”. “Luckily, we are used to that,” he added.

The minister said he expected “especially great pressure” in two areas. One of them is the war in Ukraine, which is “not Hungary’s war”, he said. At the same time, he added that the government condemned the war and supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“We are not responsible and nobody could demand that we should pay the price,” he insisted. “We continue to refuse to participate (in the conflict),” he added.

Concerning Ukraine’s “seriously curbing” Hungarian education for ethnic kin, Szijjarto said that the Hungarian government had voiced its concerns but “our allies, our friends, our EU peers would not recognise the problem”.

“As long as Ukraine refuses to restore the rights of the Hungarian community, we cannot support its accession talks to be launched with the European Union,” he said.

Szijjarto also said communication channels with Russia should be kept open, “or else even the hope for peace will disappear”. Hungary will not terminate its crucial energy agreements, either, he added.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said Hungary had become “a meeting point between western and eastern investment”. “Here again, we will face great pressure, because we are not the only country that wants those investments,” he said. Some countries in western Europe are also eyeing those projects and “they will say all kinds of things about us … they will say we must stop economic cooperation with China, naturally because they would want … to attract those projects offering jobs to many thousands and tens of thousands of people,” he said.

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