Budapest and Bethlehem have become twin cities after mayors of the two metropolises signed agreements.
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós and Bethlehem Mayor Anton Salman signed a twin city agreement in Bethlehem on Monday.
Budapest has numerous twin cities but attaches special importance to its cooperation with Bethlehem, the mayor said.
Budapest hopes to focus its cooperation with Bethlehem on classical culture, youth affairs, sport and heritage protection, he added.
Tarlós said Budapest’s goal with the agreement was not political, but rather to create the conditions for cooperation with “the iconic birthplace and spiritual roots of the Christian community”, arguing that Europe’s classical culture needed to be protected.
Another aim is to bolster Budapest’s image and attract more and more tourists from Bethlehem to the Hungarian capital, he said.
Tarlós praised the roles Marie Antoinette Sedin, the former Palestinian ambassador to Hungary, and Csaba Rada, Hungary’s ambassador to Palestine, played in bringing together the pact between the two cities.