Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: European interests served by dialogue instead of world divided into blocs

The world is again becoming divided into blocs, partly as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, and this harms European and Hungarian interests, Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Geneva on Wednesday.
29. March 2023 15:09

Dialogue and connectivity are needed instead, he told a forum of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) dealing with sustainable development.

Central Europe has always lost out whenever there was a conflict between East and West, he said. Instead of antagonistic blocs, what is needed is cooperation based on mutual respect and benefits, he added.

Szijjarto slammed moves to break East-West economic ties, arguing that severing cooperation between Europe and China would “knock out” the European economy.

Noting the car industry, undergoing a “revolutionary transformation”, he insisted that large Western companies involved in electromobility were highly dependent on Eastern partners.

Europe, he said, faced grave challenges to its economy and security, and the cost of the war in Ukraine was evident in skyrocketing food and energy prices and a big dent to European competitiveness.

With constant arms deliveries and nuclear threats, the risk of the war’s escalation was greater than ever, he said, adding that the consequences would be felt “in our immediate vicinity”, with further victims of the war within the Transcarpathian Hungarian community, too.

The minister said that saving lives was a top priority for Hungary, and for this to happen, peace must be created. “[We] urge an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations,” he said.

Szijjarto called for “rationality and common sense” in solving problems instead of “ideological and dogmatic approaches”.

Addressing the issue of sustainable growth, he said green goals should be approached “on a rational basis” rather than on a political or ideological one, and nuclear energy in Europe was indispensable in this regard.

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