Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto met on Monday in Budapest as part of a first step in a process which, in the words of the Romanian chief diplomat, “the relationships between Romania and Hungary are intended to be turned into an example even for other countries in the region.”
“This is a very important step that we took today, but it is not the last; it is the first in a process that we intend to conduct to turn the relationships between Romania and Hungary into an example not just for us, but for other countries in the region as well,” Melescanu told a joint news conference with Szijjarto at the end of their meeting, according to Agerpres.
Melescanu mentioned that, during the meeting, some contradictory positions espoused by the two countries were also discussed.
“We indeed attached special attention to the themes on which our positions are close and that can have a very positive impact on the developments in the relationships between us. We did not eschew themes on which our stands are far apart, I would dare say contradictory. But we all agreed that discussing them should continue to be our way of approaching things, but our emphasis should not stay on the divergent themes, but on developing the components that can really contribute to the recovery of the relationships between our two countries,” said Melescanu.
He went on to say that a joint meeting of the national governments of Romania and Hungary was being considered for a time and under circumstances that are deemed materially enough for the two national governments to congregate. The joint meeting would be preceded by a session of the Joint Cooperation Board, which could come up with several concrete components to boost the relations between Romania and Hungary.
Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Szijjarto said in his turn that very simple bilateral ties are being sought, free of complications and full of dialogue.
If the relationship between Romania and Hungary is good, he said, meaning the relationship between the two governments is good, that will benefit all people, irrespective of where they live. (…) Dialogue is needed in the relationship between Romania and Hungary, said Szijjarto, because without dialogue, there will be no common success and there will never be trust between the two countries, the two governments and the two nations. Common success and such trust, he added, are the necessary axes for the bilateral relations fraught with difficulties – mainly those related to minorities’ issues – to be successfully addressed. He said he believes they can approach these sensitive issues with chances of success, provided there is trust and close relations between us. That is why we agreed to achieve common success and build a climate of trust between us and based on that to be able to solve these more difficult issues, said Szijjarto.
Hungarian Minsiter Szijjarto: Development of economic relations with Romania – priority for Hungary
The further development of economic relations between Hungary and Romania represents a priority for the Government led by Viktor Orban, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto stated, after the meeting he had in Budapest with head of the Romanian diplomacy Teodor Melescanu.
“We talk too little about the economic ties between the two countries and a few know how to answer the question of which is Hungary’s second market (of exports – e.n.) and many people would be surprised to know that it is Romania, because after Germany, Hungary exports mostly to Romania. That is why, the economic relations have to be further developed. It is a priority for us. That is why we have opened (through a commercial bank – e.n.) a loan framework of 514 million euros, trying to facilitate the cooperation in the economic area,” Szijjarto stated within a joint press conference with Minister Melescanu.
He added that he wants, in the shortest time possible, that two of the 10 border-crossing points, which were recently opened, temporarily, between the two countries, to permanently function.
Szijjarto added that he received a promise from the Romanian side that from 2019 the pipeline which ensures the interconnection of gas transmission between the two countries to also start working towards Hungary, and starting 2020 to be at its full capacity.
“Between the two countries, the cooperation in the energy area is a problem that needs development. Currently we are connected, but the connection is not working. Currently, transmission is possible only towards Romania and I have discussed with Mr. Minister that until 2019 this connection be made reversible and until 2020 the complete capacity of the reversible interconnection be ensured,” the Hungarian Minister stated.
Hungary is one of the traditional economic partners of Romania and it always ranked a top position in the Romanian external trade. According to the data offered by the Embassy of Romania in Budapest, starting 2019, the trade exchanges with Hungary recorded a constant growth (except in the period between 2012-2013- a slight decline was recorded), but each year the trade balance payments was clearly favorable to the Hungarian part. On 31 October 2016, the Romanian-Hungarian trade exchange value stood at 6,586,34 million euros, of which the export stood at 2,506,77 million euros and the import stood at 4,079,57 million euros, while the trade balance payments was negative, namely 1,572,80 million euros.
Minister Teodor Melescanu paid an official visit to Budapest, on Monday, at the invitation of Peter Szijjarto.
The schedule of the visit included consultations with the head of the Hungarian diplomacy, a meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban as well as a speech, that was delivered as a first for a Romanian Minister, at the Annual Meeting of Hungarian Diplomacy.
Moreover, the Romanian Minister scheduled a meeting with representatives of Romanian community residing in Hungary.