Szijjarto: Bulgaria-Hungary ties ‘strong’

Bulgaria-Hungary ties are strong even in times of crisis, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday after talks with Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Marijana Nikolova, adding that one of the effects of the pandemic was to boost bilateral cooperation.

The Bulgarian community in Hungary is a fulcrum of relations, and important areas of cooperation include energy and combatting migration, he said.

Both countries will build a gas pipeline by October 2021, opening up at least four new supply opportunities for Hungary, he said.

Szijjarto also said the Bulgarian authorities were having to take action against illegal migrants with far greater frequency than ever, adding that Brussels should not encourage immigration. He added that Hungarian police will join other forces next year in protecting Bulgaria’s borders with Serbia and Turkey.

Nikolova said friendship and historical traditions characterised ties between the two countries, and she urged the expansion of cooperation on tourism, adding that a related agreement may be reached at the next meeting of the Hungarian-Bulgarian Joint Economic Committee in late February or early March.

She said cooperation may be developed in the areas of environmental protection, waste management, water treatment, road construction, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical production.

Meanwhile, responding to a question on vaccines, Szijjarto said there may be a sufficient amount of vaccines from European projects in the first half of 2021, but Hungary was not excluding other options. Whatever vaccines either the domestic authorities or EU authorities approve will be made available, he said.

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