Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: UNGA forum should be used as an opportunity to broker peace

The world should take the 78th United Nations General Assembly as an opportunity to broker peace in Ukraine, but that would require dialogue between the parties, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in New York on Monday.
18. September 2023 17:10

Regarding a meeting of European Union foreign ministers scheduled on occasion of the General Assembly, Szijjarto said that in all likelihood his colleagues would “warn everyone against meeting and talking to representatives of the Russian government”. “I think that’s going in the wrong direction,” he said.

“The UN was founded so that even warring parties could at least talk to each other, because that raises the hope of a solution taking shape, or at least things not getting worse,” he said.

The UNGA, to be attended by Ukraine, Russia and “everyone else”, “would be an opportunity for everyone to talk to each other on neutral territory,” he said.

Szijjarto said he was scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart in the second half of the week, “and I think that the best course of action would be if as many of my Western colleagues as possible would do the same.”

Meanwhile, the minister welcomed a meeting of the Visegrad Group on closer cooperation. “Our views on and approach to peace are clearly different, but there is a multitude of other matters we agree on, on which cooperation is in the nation’s interest.”

Later on Monday, Szijjarto is scheduled to attend a meeting of the World Economic Forum. Regarding the meeting, he said the “war psychosis” resulting from the war in Ukraine had created a political climate that could lead to blocs forming anew in world politics.

“We want the coming years to be about connectivity,” he said.

He said that after the ties between Russia and Europe had been severed “one by one”, there were western European attempts to do the same with China. “That would have tragic consequences,” he warned.

Meanwhile, western car manufacturers are dependent on Eastern suppliers in the transition to electromobility, he said. Hungary has successfully become an important meeting point for the sector’s investments, he added. “We have an interest in developing civilised cooperation between East and West,” he said.

At the same time, the security situation had deteriorated worldwide, he said. Humanity “may be closer to the third world war than ever,” he said, adding there were 50 armed conflicts happening simultaneously worldwide.

Szijjarto said instability in the Middle East had a direct impact on Europe, contributing to rising migration pressure. The Abraham Accords, he said, were the first successful attempt in the past few decades to broker peace between Israel and several Arab countries, and he called for a push to expand the accords, saying that Hungary was ready to contribute as it saw Israel as a strategic partner and had friendly relations with many Arab countries.

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