Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary and Slovakia are prepared “to write the best-ever chapter of their cooperation”.
After meeting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in Bratislava on Tuesday, Minister Szijjártó said Slovakia’s recent election led to the formation of a “patriotic government which undertakes the enforcement of national interests and pursues sovereign politics”. Since cooperation between governments like this is easier, “I think we stand on the verge of a particularly beautiful period and huge opportunities when it comes to the future of Hungarian-Slovak relations,” he said. Szijjártó said the two governments apply similar approaches to the key issues concerning the future of Europe, noting they both wanted peace in Ukraine, did not see weapons deliveries as the solution and wanted to bring a halt to illegal immigration waves. One main focus of bilateral talks in the coming period will be boosting cooperation against migration, he said, adding that both countries had a negative view of the EU’s migration package. He said preparations for Fico’s upcoming visit to Budapest will soon get underway. Minister Szijjártó also met his Slovak counterpart, Juraj Blanár, Economy Minister Denisa Saková and Regional Development Minister Richard Raši.
The foreign minister added that in Hungary and Slovakia’s experience, their bilateral ties had been the most effective and successful when Fico was prime minister of Slovakia. He noted the agreement signed nine years ago which resulted in “success stories” such as the bridges over the River Ipoly, the bridge over the Danube and cross-border infrastructure developments. “We’re prepared to base the cooperation of the coming period on similar foundations, where the aim is for both countries, both nations to benefit from this good cooperation, to coordinate our border-region developments and make use of all the opportunities in our economic cooperation,” Szijjártó said. He welcomed that the two countries will inaugurate another bridge over the Ipoly at the end of the year and the beginning of next year. Meanwhile, Szijjártó said another key link was that both Budapest and Bratislava approached the issue of energy supply from a place of “common sense” rather than from an ideological perspective. “Both countries use nuclear energy, and we refuse to back down on this,” Szijjártó said. “We don’t accept double standards or negative discrimination against nuclear energy, as it forms an important basis of the energy supply and energy security of both countries.” In response to a question, Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was developing ties with almost all of its neighbours knowing that they do not agree on every single issue, adding that this was also true in the case of Slovakia.