Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary's "values-based, pro-peace, honest" stance, which doesn't aim to cater to the international liberal mainstream, is greatly appreciated worldwide in countries outside Europe.
Speaking on the evening of the first day of the UN General Assembly in New York, Minister Szijjártó said he had used the gathering of delegations from nearly 200 countries to discuss issues mainly with foreign ministers of non-European countries. He also attended an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers focusing mainly on the Sahel, where recent conflicts are threatening to spill over to other regions, the ministry said. Instability, he said, led to stronger waves of migration, and since Europe already faced serious security risks from the east, another threat from the south could have severe consequences, he said. Minister Szijjártó said that in his meetings with several Asian, Latin American and African counterparts it had become clear that Hungary’s position rooted in “honesty and the representation of national interests” was greatly appreciated outside Europe, as it did not kowtow to the international liberal mainstream or seek “pats on the back”. Minister Szijjártó said the international community was all the more understanding of Hungary’s stance as Hungarians were also losing their lives in the war.
Minister Szijjártó also held talks with several of his non-European counterparts in New York on Monday. In talks with the leaders of Sierra Leone and Bangladesh, the leaders agreed that Hungary would offer 50 scholarships to students of each country. Hungary and Bangladesh also aim to strengthen economic ties, including cooperation opportunities in the nuclear industry, as the two countries are building similar power plants, he said. Szijjártó and his Uzbek counterpart agreed to continue cooperating with the Organization of Turkic States, which set up its Drought Prevention Institute in Budapest in appreciation of Hungary’s water management technologies, he said. Exports to Malaysia could also grow thanks to a recent agriculture agreement, he said. At the meeting with Ecuador’s foreign minister, “it felt especially good to talk about our shared Christian values and traditions”, especially since Quito is slated to host the International Eucharistic Congress which was held in Budapest in 2021. “We have held important talks … and this is only the first day,” Minister Szijjártó said.