The foreign minister said Hungary is committed to supporting Georgia’s European Union integration “with deeds as well as words”.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said, after meeting his Georgian counterpart, David Zalkaliani, in Tbilisi, that Hungary was dedicated to the EU Eastern Partnership program in which Georgia plays a key role and considers it the best tool for strengthening the EU.
The foreign minister said that unfortunately, the EU is gradually losing its economic and political powers on a global platform and this process should be reversed. The only way to reverse this trend is to speed up enlargement and find new partners. He said Georgia was one of the best candidates for this. Hungary has deployed “integration experts” to Georgia, while 13 Hungarians also work in the EU’s monetary mission in the country. Minister Szijjártó said Hungary will continue to fund those efforts.
Minister Szijjártó said Hungary is “glad to support” Georgia’s aim to submit an accession application to the EU in 2024, and welcomes Georgia making the first steps towards EU integration. Georgia can count on Hungary throughout the integration process, he added, noting Hungary’s “vigorous support” of the Caucasian country’s NATO membership.
According to MTI, the minister expressed appreciation of Georgia’s participation in the fight against terrorism, especially considering that per capita Georgia has the highest participation from a non-NATO member country in the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
Hungary has gained much from economic and trade cooperation with Eastern partner countries, he said. Despite a 9 percent drop in global trade last year, Hungary managed to increase its trade balance by 50 million dollars, or 9 percent, last year, he added. Hungarian companies have performed successfully in Georgia, with pharmaceuticals Richter and Egis being among the first ten companies there and Wizz Air being a market leader in air travel.
The minister also added that joint research and development are under way in defense, and Hungarian experts are involved in the modernisation of the water network in Georgia’s second largest town.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter