Flags of member nations flying at United Nations Headquarters - Photo: un.org

Szijjarto calls for ‘turning up volume of global pro-peace majority’

It is time to "turn up the volume" of the voices of the global pro-peace majority, and Hungary will continue to call for a diplomatic resolution of the war in Ukraine, "despite all the attacks and pressure", the foreign minister said in New York on Tuesday.
19. July 2023 6:20

Peter Szijjarto said that Monday’s meeting of the UN Security Council had made it clear that the international community was grouped around two opposing approaches to the issue.

Proponents of the war continue to make statements that risk an escalation, even as the “overwhelming majority of the world” want a swift end to the conflict, the ministry cited Szijjarto as saying.

“Nevertheless, representatives of the transatlantic world made speeches and statements yesterday that clearly signal that the war would carry on, and bring a clear risk of escalation,” Szijjarto said.

Therefore, the pro-peace camp’s voice should be made louder and “we should make it clear that the overwhelming majority of the world finally wants peace,” he said.

Szijjarto rejected the “accusations” of John Asselborn, his Luxembourg counterpart, who said Hungary wasn’t showing enough solidarity with Ukraine. “We Hungarians have accepted more than one million refugees form Ukraine,” he said, adding that Luxembourg was “probably” lagging behind that number.

He also said that Hungarians were dying “in growing numbers” in the war.

Commenting on the collapse of the agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain through ports on its Russian-held Black Sea coast, Szijjarto said the agreement had been key to mitigating the conflict’s effects in “easily destabilising regions”.

Central Europe’s role in grain transits is expected to grow, and Hungary has completed serious infrastructural improvements in good time, he said.

Hungary is ready to allow grain transits to Africa and the Middle East to avoid a food crisis and the consequent new waves of migration from those regions. At the same time, it must be avoided that Ukrainian grain upends central European markets, “just because a neighbouring country doesn’t have to abide by EU regulations,” he said.

At the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Szijjarto said he would call on the meeting to “talk about peace now that war has dominated the discourse of international organisations for more than 500 days” since the war began.

“To achieve peace, we obviously need a ceasefire, negotiations and a peace agreement,” he said.

He welcomed all peace efforts and called on the UN to provide a platform for the discourse on peace, too.

Commenting on talks with company representatives, Szijjarto said US and German companies were “under a huge pressure, often amounting to blackmail”, to shun Hungary as an investment site. “The liberal US and German leadership do not agree with the direction the Hungarian people have set,” he said.

“It is clear to see, however, that German and US companies are not phased by that, and investments from those countries are growing constantly … I hope to conclude agreements on a few US investments in Hungary today,” he added.

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