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Jul 20, 2017

Viktor Orbán’s statement to the press after the meeting between the prime ministers of the Visegrád Four and the Prime Minister of the State of Israel

19 July 2017, Budapest

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, Madam Prime Minister, prime ministers,

Today in Budapest something happened which had never happened before: for the first time ever a meeting was held at which the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries were joined by the Prime Minister of the State of Israel. It falls to me now to briefly summarise the outcome of this meeting.

Before the meeting between the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries and the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, there was a separate meeting, about which I should also say three sentences. We agreed on the content of a letter to the Prime Minister of Italy, which we have made public, so you can read it. We agreed that one of the EU agencies which is due to move out of London should be relocated to the countries of the V4 – to one of the V4 countries – and in this we shall offer each other our full support and cooperation. And finally the prime ministers of the V4 established the content of the mandate which they are giving me as a basis for conduction negotiations with the French on the subject of the Posted Workers Directive.

Following this, allow me to say a few words about the meeting between the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and the V4. I shall be brief. The Prime Minister – Prime Minister Netanyahu – suggested that we set up a joint task force promoting the fight against terrorism. We accepted this. The Honourable Prime Minister also made another suggestion: the establishment of a joint task force for the promotion of technological cooperation. We shall elaborate the details of this. Thirdly, the Honourable Prime Minister invited us to Israel. We considered his invitation, we are honoured to receive it, and we have accepted it. I would like to remind everyone that the State of Israel’s standpoint that defence of the external borders is crucial for the life of every nation is an idea shared by us in the V4. We spoke at length about the importance of defending the external borders. We also spoke at length about the fact that the free flow of people without any controls or checks creates the risk of terrorism.

In addition to this, we spoke about relations between the European Union and Israel. The Hungarian position is that the European Union should appreciate the efforts which the State of Israel is making to promote stability in its region; such efforts are not only in the interest of Israel, but also of Europe, as they protect us from ever more migrant invasions. We greatly appreciate these efforts, and we suggest that the European Union should also appreciate them. During our review of relations between the European Union and Israel, we also established that they are insufficiently rational, and are in need of improvement. We would like these relations to be governed by rationality, and for criticism of Israel to be replaced by the opening of the gate to cooperation with the country – and the creation of this possibility. For its part Hungary will represent this political viewpoint within the European Union.

This, In a nutshell, was the essence of the meeting. I have put forward the Hungarian position. I now hand the floor to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Prime Minister, the floor is yours.