FM: Intensified efforts needed to free hostages held by Hamas

The foreign minister also said it was vitally important to guarantee the security of Red Sea shipping routes.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in Brussels that intensified efforts are needed to free the remaining hostages held by Hamas, adding that it was also vitally important to guarantee the security of Red Sea shipping routes.

“I thanked the Arab states for their mediating activity [aimed at] freeing the hostages,” Minister Szijjártó told a press conference after a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council attended by representatives of Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council. “Since another person with Hungarian citizenship is among the hostages, I asked them to continue their efforts.” Meanwhile, he said the compromised Red Sea trading route was damaging European companies and population. “That’s why — if we’re seeking points of agreement between Arab and EU countries — the security of the Red Sea transport route should be such a common point.” Regarding a possible two-state solution and recognition of the Palestinian state, he said no unified position existed within the EU. Further, there was no common standpoint on an assessment of the entire conflict or what the bloc’s relationship with Israel should be in the future, he added. Regarding Georgia’s recent legislation on requiring organizations that receive funding from abroad to be registered, Minister Szijjártó said several ministers at the meeting had “reprimanded” the country and were in favor of obstructing Georgia’s path to EU integration, while he had been alone in “defending the Georgians”. He added that Hungary would strongly support its EU accession during its EU presidency, “and hopefully the process will not be blocked by the other member states”.