Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto to OECD: Global political, economic status quo upended

Prior to meeting OECD chief Mathias Corman in Paris on Wednesday, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said the crises of recent years had upended the global political and economic status quo.
13. December 2023 18:11

There was a greater danger than ever of the world being divided into blocs, he said on Facebook, with many Western politicians artificially putting up obstacles to cooperation between Eastern and Western economies which were traditionally to their mutual advantage. Hobbling such cooperation would deal a strong blow to the European economy, he added.

Szijjarto said Eastern and Western companies worked together effectively in Hungary to the country’s great benefit. “If this works well in Hungary, it should work globally, too,” he said.

The minister said that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development was among the last forums where “there’s still hope for an approach based on common sense”.

He noted that Hungary was deeply embedded with Western structures such as NATO and the EU while also an observer in the Organisation of Turkic States and a strategic partner of China. “We’re also keeping communication channels with Russia open,” he added.

Meanwhile, later addressing a panel discussion at the OECD’s annual Eurasian conference which discussed difficulties arising from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Szijjarto said these events had led to the collapse of the previous status quo, unleashing a new world order.

The ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying that as a medium-sized landlocked state with few mineral resources, Hungary “is highly concerned about the long-term effects of today’s geopolitical situation”. The economic growth model built on the combination of advanced Western technology and cheap Eastern energy sources in Europe had broken, he added.

He warned that political statements about “de-risking” were intensifying, especially in western Europe. The next decades should be about civilised East-West cooperation and connectivity instead, he added.

While political cooperation between East and West was broken, it continued to function well economically, he said.

Szijjarto said Central Asia could play an important role in bridging East and West, but transit and energy infrastructure must also be developed with the aim of diversification.

Europe must ensure secure energy supply while complying with environmental protection goals, he said, adding that this was only possible by importing green energy from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Hopefully, the EU would financially back the quadrilateral project for transporting green energy from Azerbaijan and Georgia to Romania and Hungary via the world’s longest undersea pipeline, he added.

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