Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary’s ‘values-based, pro-peace’ stance appreciated worldwide

Hungary's "values-based, pro-peace, honest" stance, which doesn't aim to cater to the international liberal mainstream, is greatly appreciated worldwide in countries outside Europe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in New York on Monday.

Speaking on the evening of the first day of the United Nations General Assembly, Szijjarto said he had used the gathering of delegations from nearly 200 countries to discuss issues mainly with foreign ministers of non-European countries.

He also attended an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers focusing mainly on the Sahel, where recent conflicts are threatening to spill over to other regions, the ministry said.

Instability, he said, led to stronger waves of migration, and since Europe already faced a serious security risks from the east, another threat from the south could have severe consequences, he said.

Szijjarto said that in his meetings with several Asian, Latin American and African counterparts it had become clear that Hungary’s position rooted in “honesty and the representation of national interests” was greatly appreciated outside Europe, as it did not kowtow to the international liberal mainstream or seek “pats on the back”, he said.

The world, he said, yearned for an end to the war. While the conflict was so far regional, its effects were global, he added.

Szijjarto said the international community was all the more understanding of Hungary’s stance as Hungarians were also losing their lives in the war, and so the government’s only morally justifiable position was to broker peace as soon as possible to save lives.

In talks with the leaders of Sierra Leone and Bangladesh, the leaders agreed that Hungary will offer 50 scholarships to students of each country. Hungary and Bangladesh also aim to strengthen economic ties, including cooperation opportunities in the nuclear industry, as the two countries are building similar power plants, he said.

Szijjarto and his Uzbek counterpart agreed to continue cooperating in the Ogranization of Turkic States, which set up its Drought Prevention Institute in Budapest in appreciation of Hungary’s water management technologies, he said.

Exports to Malaysia could also grow thanks to a recent agriculture agreement, he said.

At the meeting with Ecuador’s foreign minister, “it felt especially good to talk about our shared Christian values and traditions”, especially since Quito is slated to host the International Eucharistic Congress which was held in Budapest last year.

“We have held important talks … and this is only the first day,” Szijjarto said.

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