Addressing the press corps earlier today, following his meeting in Budapest with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, PM Orbán began by stating that “it is always an honor to welcome high-ranking leaders from Bratislava,” adding that behind Austria and Germany, Slovakia is Hungary’s third-biggest trade partner. While bilateral trade volumes have seen a 9 percent increase this year, Hungary welcomed Slovak investors even during the “difficult” 2020.
“We have summarized the last 10 years of our cooperation, and, with appropriate modesty, we can say that our relationship has never been as good as it is now,” Prime Minister Orbán said, complimenting Slovakia’s “amazing” economic “success story” over the last decade. However, the Hungarian PM noted that we also have common success stories. For starters, the two countries share similar views on EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, migration and the Visegrád Four cooperation.
And among the ongoing joint projects of Slovakia and Hungary, PM Orbán mentioned the newly inaugurated Komárom bridge, the highway connection between Miskolc and Košice, another new bridge over Ipoly River and the establishment of six new border-crossing stations. “The great plan is to connect the capitals of our countries via high-speed rail,” PM Orbán said, adding that this connection should be established between all V4 capitals.
Commenting on the question of national minorities, Prime Minister Orbán confirmed that the Hungarian government will provide all the support necessary to Slovaks living in Hungary for preserving their cultural, educational and political identities. “I asked the prime minister to discuss with me directly any issues or difficulties that Slovaks in Hungary may face. I’m thankful for his similar degree of openness concerning Hungarians in Slovakia,” PM Orbán said.
“We hope that these Slovak and Hungarian groups will join our nations, not separate us,” the PM said in closing.