Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary-Oman cooperation key to achieving environmental goals

The cooperation between Hungary and Oman is proof that economic growth and modernisation is compatible with environmental protection, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday.

At the same time, the war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy crisis has been felt around the world, Szijjarto told a press conference after talks with Omani Economy Minister Said Mohammed Al Saqri.

The European Union’s sanctions on Russia have interrupted important supply lines and thriving cooperations, and point towards the re-emergence of blocs in the world economy, he said.

Blocs are usually detrimental for economies which prosper in wide networks and connectivity, he said. Hungary, an open economy, has done a lot to improve its competitiveness, as shown by record exports achieved in the first four months of this year, he said.

He called for a speedy free trade agreement between the EU and the Gulf states, and visa exemptions to the Schengen Area for the latter.

Cooperation is all the more important as Gulf states have brought about domestic economic modernisation hand in hand with environmental protection, he said.

Similarly, Hungary is proud to be “one of the 20 states which managed to increase economic performance while cutting greenhouse emissions,” he said.

Hungary’s cooperation with Oman will be built on the recognition that “economic modernisation is possible alongside the protection of the environment,” he said.

Oman is set to become a global hub of green hydrogen production, and Hungary aims to become its primary partner in central Europe, he said. “Hungary has done much to create a full circular economy, basically eliminating waste from economic production,” he said.

Talks are under way with an Omani company on a facility in Hungary, to the tune of 90 billion forints (EUR 237.8m), designed to recycle some 60 million litres of used oil a year, he said.

Hungarian companies would also gain a foothold in Oman, and make energy management there more effective and environmentally friendly, he added.

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is taking part in the creation of sustainable fuel supply and provides solutions to improve the efficiency of crude oil extraction, the minister said.

Szijjarto said a Hungarian company is setting up a solar power plant in Oman in a project worth 3.5 billion forints with a grant of 1.75 billion forints provided by the Hungarian government.

Fielding a question on the unrest in France, Szijjarto said it could be seen that “the failed immigration policy Brussels is trying to impose on member states” had led to “conditions reminiscent of civil war in one of Europe’s strongest countries”.

“One thing is certain, we, in Hungary, do not want to see such scenes. We do not want to see the streets of Budapest overcome by terror and fear. We do not want to not be able to go out in the evening for fear of getting lynched or worry about who will set fire to the car or the mayor’s office, or throw bricks through the windows of the kindergarten,” Szijjarto said.

To be safe, a country needs to be able to protect its borders and insist on its sovereign right to decide whom to let in and whom not, he said.

“It is also clear that the preaching we received in recent years from a very superiour position on multiculturalism and the success of social integration in Western Europe is nothing but a fairy tale,” Szijjarto said.

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