Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the negative effects of the war in Ukraine can be felt in both the Maldives and Hungary, despite the many thousands of kilometers that separate them. The foreign minister added that “both countries belong to the global pro-peace majority”.
Minister Szijjártó told a joint press conference with Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid that their meeting had been “an event of diplomatic history”, marking the first visit by a Maldivian foreign minister to Hungary. “We agree that this war must be condemned but we understand that this conflict cannot be resolved on the battlefield. We both want peace because only peace can save lives, and we agree that this war can have no winners, only losers,” he said. The other issue on which the countries fully agree is the importance of environmental protection, he added. “We are both global leaders in environmental protection, for different reasons. Both countries approach the issue in “a rational and sensible way”, he said. “This is not an ideological issue for either of us, and we do not accept it when anyone creates a political monopoly out of environmental protection,” he said.
An agreement on Hungarian water management, waste management and energy companies “becoming a part of the fight against climate change in the Maldives” was also reached, he said. Meanwhile, he noted that eighty Maldives students have applied for university scholarships in Hungary, and 25 would be starting their studies this year. Also, Hungary supports a visa-waiver agreement between the European Union and the Maldives, as well as the granting of full customs exemption for fishing exports, he said. The sides at the meeting signed a visa-waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports.
Photo credit: MTI