Tamas Sulyok - Photo: MTI

President Sulyok: Hungarians, Bulgarians bound by shared destiny

Hungarians and Bulgarians are bound by a shared destiny and by friendship, President Tamas Sulyok said after his talks with Rumen Radev, his Bulgarian counterpart, in Budapest on Saturday.

Topics discussed by the two presidents included the issue of ethnic minorities and bilateral economic relations, with special regard to energy security, Sulyok was quoted as saying in a press statement.

Sulyok and his Bulgarian counterpart were in agreement that illegal migration must be stopped and its causes must be addressed rather than managing the symptoms. He noted that dozens of Hungarian police officers were serving in Bulgaria in the framework of border police cooperation.

They also agreed that the war in Ukraine must be resolved through diplomatic efforts, and urged a ceasefire and a just and sustainable peace.

Sulyok said Hungary remained committed to the full accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone.

He said ethnic minorities were an important link in Hungary’s relations and the country’s Bulgarian minority is represented by a national minority advocate in the Hungarian National Assembly.

Sulyok noted that promoting the EU accession of the countries of the Western Balkans was among the priorities of Hungary’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU.

Radev said the two countries faced multiple challenges, “so we need even closer cooperation between Bulgaria and Hungary to bridge these”.

He said the discussions had touched on the issues of trade, finance and tourism, but there were many other opportunities for cooperation. He cited as examples sectors with high value-added such as the defence sector.

He said energy security was of key importance and pledged that Bulgaria would remain a stable partner in gas transit deliveries in future.

Later on Saturday, the two presidents attended the inauguration and consecration of the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre in Budapest’s 9th district.

In his address at the ceremony, Sulyok said the inauguration of the centre was about the vitality of Hungary’s ethnic Bulgarian community. The Bulgarian community had a lot to draw on, he said, adding that their culture was a combination of accumulated knowledge and preserved traditions.

Hungarians and Bulgarians, he said, were bound by the similarities in their history and by the Danube River, but even more importantly, by friendship, shared values, and the appreciation of each other’s culture.

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