Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary greatly values the stabilizing role the United Arab Emirates plays in the Middle East and appreciates its signing of peace treaties with Israel.
During an official visit to Dubai on Wednesday, the foreign minister said Hungary supports the nomination of the officials who prepared the so-called Abraham Accords for the Nobel Peace Prize. The minister also expressed hope that the spirit of the normalisation deals between Israel and the UAE would live on and lead to more similar treaties.
Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the Hungary-UAE economic mixed committee, Minister Szijjártó praised the Emirates for the help it provided to Hungary by sharing its experiences and findings about the use of China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine. The two countries will continue their cooperation in the area of health care, he said, adding that their health authorities have begun sharing information with one another about the vaccination of children.
Turning to economic ties, Minister Szijjártó said the Gulf countries, and specifically the UAE, presented a wealth of opportunities for Hungarian technology-oriented businesses, naming the area of water management as an example. Bilateral trade turnover reached 400 million US dollars last year, an 11 percent increase from the previous year, while Hungarian exports were up 19 percent, he said, adding that both indicators were at an eight-year high.
Meanwhile, Hungary’s Eximbank has opened an 800 million dollar credit line to help finance bilateral business cooperation, Szijjártó said. Hungarian companies were contracted by several cities in the UAE to modernise the public lighting system, he said, adding that Hungarian oil and gas company MOL was in talks with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on energy cooperation.
Hungary and the UAE also signed a cooperation agreement on space exploration and space activities, as well as on water management and higher education. Under the agreement, Hungary will offer university scholarships to 100 students from the UAE as part of the Stipendium Hungaricum programme each year, Minister Szijjártó said.
Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, minister of economy of the UAE, hailed the partnership between the two countries, noting its role in diversifying the UAE’s economy.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter