House Speaker makes an official visit to Iceland

László Kövér visited Iceland at the invitation of Birgir Armannsson, his Icelandic counterpart.

House Speaker László Kövér has made an official visit to Iceland with the aim of building closer ties between the two countries' parliaments.

According to MTI, Kövér visited Iceland at the invitation of Birgir Armannsson, his Icelandic counterpart. “We are interested in developing our bilateral political relations, with legislation having an important role in the process,” Kövér told his negotiating partner. Talks focused on topics including the Ukraine war, the ratification of Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO entry, an upcoming summit by the Council of Europe in Reykjavik, Europe’s security, inflation, climate change, and illegal migration. Concerning economic cooperation, Kövér mentioned geothermic energy as “one of the most promising” areas, as well as opportunities offered in tourism. On the subject of the war in Ukraine, Kövér noted the Hungarian government’s position that Ukraine was the victim of aggression and Hungary “honours Ukraine’s right to national sovereignty”. According to the Hungarian government, “this war must be terminated as soon as possible, first achieving a ceasefire then an equitable peace agreement negotiated with assistance from the international community,” he said. Meanwhile, Kövér said the Hungarian government supported the ratification of the NATO agreements of Sweden and Finland and considered ratification a “moral obligation”. Hungary’s parliament will ratify Finland’s accession on March 27, with “Sweden’s to follow soon … Hungary will not be the last one [to ratify]”, he said. He added, however, that talks had been necessary between the parliaments, foreign ministers and deputies of the two countries because “political statements of recent years have been unfairly adversarial and failing to reflect Hungary’s reality.” Kövér also said CoE’s May summit was in Hungary’s special focus with a recommendation to ensure European protection to the rights of ethnic minorities. The country will be represented at the meeting by President Katalin Novák, he said. Kövér was received by President Gudni Jóhannesson and had talks with group leaders of Iceland’s parliamentary parties, as well as State Secretary Martin Eyjólfsson.