The foreign minister said that besides the pandemic, fresh political conflicts have arisen in the recent period with tit-for-tat sanctions and “verbal incidents” between major players in global politics and economy.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said on Friday that the developments were “a cause for concern”. He said in his English-language address to a Council of Europe meeting, also posted on his Facebook page, that he represented a central European country whose people understood that “geography determines the house number of the countries, which is unchangeable”. “Based on geography we have learnt the lessons of our history and have drawn the conclusions,” he added.
“Maybe the most important conclusion is that whenever there’s a conflict between East and West, central Europe usually loses,” the minister said, adding that “we don’t want to be losers anymore”. As a result, Hungary wants a pragmatic cooperation based on dialogue between East and West. “We are absolutely not interested in a new cold war to be launched,” he said. “Under these circumstances, the significance of the organisations which offer a platform to East and West dialogue is getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “Council of Europe is serving as one of the best frameworks for that,” he added.
The minister said that during the next half year, Hungary will do the best it can to help and support the Council of Europe. The pandemic offers a chance to re-establish pragmatic cooperation between East and West because the aim is to save people lives and this requires close cooperation, he added.