Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu said on Tuesday that Romania wants to build a real strategic partnership with Hungary.
“Romania wants to build a real strategic partnership with Hungary, our priorities, parameters, expectations regarding the trajectory of this relationship are particularly important and we have a direct dialogue with our Hungarian partners. (…) We have common interests and objectives as neighboring states, members of the EU and the North Atlantic Alliance, and this is becoming even more evident in the current, very complicated regional and international context,” Aurescu said after meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
He announced that he would pay a visit to Hungary at the end of November to mark the 20th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership with Hungary.
The talks of the two top diplomats also focused on the visits of Hungarian officials to Romania and the upcoming Tusnad Summer Camp.
“Together we stressed the need and importance of a public narrative in the logic and spirit of our Strategic Partnership and the basic political treaty,” Aurescu said.
He said it had been agreed that a new meeting of the joint economic committee should take place by the end of this year, showing also that the economic relationship with Hungary is on a growing trend, with 11 billion-euro worth of trade last year, up by over 22 percent compared to the previous year.
“We have agreed to complete by the end of the year the project of the Romanian-Hungarian Joint Chamber of Commerce, which will be based in Budapest,” said Minister Aurescu.
The two officials also discussed energy.
“It is a complex situation at European level for which we need to find solutions. Unfortunately, Hungary is much more dependent than other countries on external energy sources and solutions must be found in this regard. There is an important concern in the European Union – the Empower EU plan, which is currently under discussion at Union level and will provide a number of solutions, but we must continue to increase our interconnection capacity and we discussed today about increasing the interconnection capacity of our bilateral gas connection project, we need to strengthen our storage capacities inside the EU. We also need to find alternative sources,” Aurescu said.
The two officials also agreed that a new meeting of the Joint Committee on National Minorities should take place by the end of the year.
“We also discussed issues related to the difficulties faced by the Romanian minority in Hungary and I have the promise of Mr. Minister that these issues will be addressed in the near future, especially those related to the media and mother tongue education,” added Aurescu.
The talks also focused on the situation at the common border between the two countries, but also in Ukraine. “We also discussed the support provided to the Republic of Moldova in its European course. (…) We reiterated together the support for the enlargement policy of the EU. We support, both Romania and Hungary, the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and with North Macedonia,” Minister Aurescu also said.
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto, pointed out that Hungary and Romania face similar challenges, namely security, economic risks and difficulties in terms of energy supply.
“In addition, Hungary, geographically, is in a situation where in a moment we have come under double pressure, because on the eastern side more than 830,000 refugees have arrived from Ukraine to Hungary. Certainly, we welcome everyone and help them. I express my admiration for Romania and Romanians for having provided a chance for 1,500,000 refugees from Ukraine. In Hungary, in addition to the refugee crisis, we also have a very severe crisis of migrants from the south, as more than 110,000 illegal migrants have arrived at the borders of Hungary and we had to stop them. (…) Migrant groups have weapons that they sometimes use against each other, and usually to threaten the forces defending Hungary’s borders. (…) It may happen that Romania will end up in a similar situation. Our message is: we offer help to all refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, but illegal migrants should not come, we will not let them in no matter how aggressive they are,” said Peter Szijjarto, according to Agerpres.
In terms of economic cooperation, the Hungarian Foreign Minister encouraged Romanian companies to invest in Hungary.
He also said that both Hungary and Romania use nuclear energy, pointing out that it is “sustainable, clean and cheap”. Peter Szijjarto stated that, in terms of natural gas, the southern transport routes need to be strengthened for Hungary.