Hungarian Foreign Minister on Israel Relations

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Published on 19 Feb 2019, 18:10
PERSPECTIVES | Israel and Hungary have enjoyed strong ties as of late. But with Poland and Israel in the midst of a feud over the Holocaust and Hungary tied to Poland in the Visegrad, how will things unfold? Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto discusses with our Owen Alterman.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on Tuesday that his country will open an office with diplomatic status in Jerusalem.

'I just informed the prime minister that the Hungarian government decided that we will open up a trade representation here, which will have a diplomatic status, so we will appear now in Jerusalem officially as well,' Orban said after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

'So I hope it will be a good step forward to even improve further the relationship between the Israeli people and Hungary,' Orban added.

Netanyahu said he was thankful for the decision to 'extend the embassy of Hungary in Israel to Jerusalem, that is to have an extension in Jerusalem that deals with trade.'

'This is important. t’s a sign of our friendship. And it’s also a place in Jerusalem that can welcome you next time you come here,' Netanyahu said.

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini also announced the opening of a 'new cultural, information and innovation center' in Jerusalem, promising it would open 'very soon'.

Netanyahu said he was 'absolutely delighted' to hear the news. 'It is my hope that this will be the first step towards opening a Slovak embassy in Jerusalem,' he added.

Orban also said he would work to prevent the European Union from funding NGO’s that interfere 'in political issues, and (are) being anti-Israel'.

'We don’t accept that kind of behavior and that kind of practice. Until now, we have it, so we would like to stop it,' Orban said.

Netanyahu stressed the importance of Israel’s alliance with Hungary while thanking Orban for 'standing up for the truth'.

'It was a first attempt, which is promising. I hope we will be able to complete hat mission later on,' he said.

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