The foreign minister said the Eastern Partnership program is one of the European Union’s most important policies.
Following talks with his Georgian counterpart in Tbilisi, Péter Szijjártó said a new world order is emerging from the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The European Union will only be able to stay strong in this new setting if it can gain a lot of allies,” the minister said.
According to MTI, Minister Szijjártó also assured Georgia of Hungary’s unwavering support, saying that it wants that country’s speedy and successful EU integration. Hungary has 15 officers serving in the EU’s observer mission in Georgia and a Hungarian diplomat is assisting the Georgian foreign ministry in this area, he added.
The minister said that of the non-NATO member states, Georgia provides the largest per-capita contribution to the military alliance’s operations, arguing that Georgia had earned an invitation to join NATO’s membership action plan.
In regards to bilateral economic cooperation, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary’s Eximbank has opened a USD 135 million credit line with a view to boosting cooperation between Hungarian and Georgian businesses. The two countries also signed a cultural agreement and reached a deal on maintaining and expanding higher education cooperation, he said.
Minister Szijjártó thanked the Georgian government for allowing Hungary to erect a monument to WW2 prisoners of war who were held in the country. Some 6,700 Hungarian POWs were interned in Georgia and around 500 of them died, he noted.
Meanwhile, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary and Georgia have set up a joint working group to monitor the status of the pandemic and prepare reports on when restrictions between the two countries could be eased or lifted. Cooperation between Hungary and Georgia has become stronger during the pandemic, the minister said, noting that Hungary helped repatriate 19 Georgian citizens and approved the export of pharmaceutical substances to the country.
Photo credit: Origo