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May 22, 2017

Hungary to help combat prejudice against Israel

Hungary was fully committed to supporting the Middle Eastern peace process and "would like both the Israelis and the Palestinians to live in peace and prosper," Hungary's foreign minister said

Hungary has declared that it will stand firmly behind Israel and is working toward combating prejudice against the nation in the European Union and the United Nations.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the remarks in the English edition of The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“I often feel that there are standpoints in both the UN and the EU that are biased against Israel," minister Szijjártó said.

The minister was in Israel on Thursday to discuss preparations for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Budapest, which will take place July 18.

Netanyahu will be the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Hungary since 1989, when Hungary became the first country of the former Soviet bloc to establish diplomatic relations with the nation.

“Hungary regards itself as a strong friend of Israel, and especially in the European Union, where amongst others it has taken a stand in favor of closer bilateral ties between Israel and the EU," the newspaper added.

The minister said that Hungary was fully committed to supporting the Middle Eastern peace process and "would like both the Israelis and the Palestinians to live in peace and prosper," minister Szijjártó said.

The Jewish community is a very valuable and integral part of Hungarian society, the minister said.

The Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) is working to open three new synagogues in Hungary, the organization’s chief rabbi Slomó Köves told Magyar Hírlap.

Köves said that the Jewish community was undergoing a renaissance and there were more and more cultural events, openair festivals and exhibitions taking place nationwide. And within the community itself there has been rejuvenation, he added. A new Jewish grammar school will open its doors from September and a new religious and community center is planned to be opened on the Pest side of Margit Bridge in 2018, the rabbi said.