Hungary supports Georgia's initiative to start talks with the European Union on security and defense cooperation, Hungary's foreign minister has said.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met with Viktor Dolidze, Georgia’s state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, in Budapest on Wednesday.
The minister said Europe has an obvious economic and security interest in the success of the Eastern Partnership initiative.
Minister Szijjártó noted that Georgia signed a trade and cooperation agreement with the European Union in 2014 and the EU issued a visa waiver for Georgian citizens earlier this year.
The minister said Hungary is a committed supporter of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and would continue to support all of the country’s aspirations to cooperate with NATO and the EU in the future.
Hungary will also support the EU in ensuring that the European partnership initiative is a success. The minister noted that there are 12 Hungarian soldiers participating in the EU’s monitoring mission in Georgia and added that Hungary would continue to take part in the mission.
Minister Szijjártó said that with its past contributions to the military alliance, Georgia deserved to be invited to join NATO‘s Membership Action Plan. Failing to do so could undermine NATO’s credibility, he added.
Following his meeting with Hungary's foreign minister, Dolidze met with Tamás Vargha, Deputy Defence Minister.
Topics of the meeting included Georgia’s efforts to achieve Euro-Atlantic integration, which have been consistently supported by Hungary, and the Visegrád Group’s Eastern Partnership Programme, "in view of the fact that Georgia is also included in the Regional Visegrád chapter of the Hungarian V4 presidency’s programme as a priority target country."