Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, has met Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, and Amichai Chikli, minister for diaspora communities, as well as former Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann for talks in Jerusalem.
Gulyás told journalists that the Hungarian government shared the European position that Russia had committed an aggressive act against Ukraine. He also highlighted the importance of providing help to Ukrainian refugees and seeking a ceasefire and peace. Meanwhile, he referred to Hungary’s dependence on Russian gas as a “legacy of communist times” and the government had made significant efforts to remove that dependence. Answering a question referring to a recent survey suggesting that one-third of the Hungarian population had anti-Semitic leanings, Gulyás questioned the credibility of the survey and said the Hungarian government promoted zero tolerance for anti-Semitism. The Hungarian government is working to build good ties with all religious Jewish communities, he added and noted Budapest’s flourishing Jewish cultural and religious life. The city is “uniquely secure” in European comparison, he said. On the subject of the United States moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Gulyás said the “question has been raised in all other countries, too, whether to follow suit.” As for Hungary, he said, “the decision will be made at the prime ministerial level”. Answering a question about the Hungarian parliament delaying a vote on Sweden’s NATO entry, Gulyás cited the Swedish government’s “unfounded criticism of Hungary”. “If they don’t consider Hungary a democracy, why would they want to join a club where we are members?” Sweden’s “mistakes” should be clarified through dialogue, Gulyás added.