Hungary continues to be committed to rebuilding its relationship with Armenia. After a ten-year diplomatic hiatus, the two nations are working on forging a collaboration that serves the interests of both, as announced by Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó during a press conference held jointly with his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, in Yerevan on Friday.
The minister emphasized that this visit marks the end of a long hiatus in the relationship, as there had been no diplomatic ties between the two countries for a decade. He pointed out that the decision to normalize relations was made last year, aiming to establish cooperation that benefits both nations. He underlined the strong common ground provided by Christianity in this endeavour, as both Hungary and Armenia have a long history of Christian heritage. Additionally,
he acknowledged the significant role played by the Armenian Christian Church in rebuilding the relationship.
‘We have always strived to show our goodwill earlier. Within this framework, we negotiated with our Azerbaijani friends and were able to bring home five Armenian prisoners of war at the end of 2021,’ he stated. Furthermore, he highlighted that the Hungarian government provided 116 million forints in support to families relocating from the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Armenia and aided local defence against the coronavirus pandemic with 100,000 vaccine doses. ‘Hungary remains committed to the rebuilding of this relationship,’ Szijjártó affirmed. As a sign of this commitment, Hungary will provide an additional 40 million forints in support to families relocating from Nagorno-Karabakh. The country is also ready to participate in the medical treatment of those relocating and plans to host the children of the affected families at summer camps next year.
Szijjártó announced the signing of a higher education cooperation agreement, through which thirty Armenian students will have the opportunity to study at Hungarian universities with scholarships each year. He also mentioned Hungary’s Armenian minority, noting that
over the past thirteen years, the government has increased budgetary support for the community fourfold.
Moreover, he requested his Armenian counterpart’s approval for the establishment of a Hungarian consular representation in Yerevan.
Regarding aviation, Szijjártó stated that the Hungarian government will encourage Wizz Air to add Budapest as the tenth city among the seven countries from which the airline operates flights to Yerevan. He believes this would make direct physical connections a reality, and he considers this progress after a decade without diplomatic relations.
The minister also addressed global security, pointing out that the world is in its worst state of security since the end of the Cold War. He attributed this instability in part to the Caucasus region’s instability and armed conflicts, which have caused suffering for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, over decades. Hungary is a country that consistently supports peace and peaceful solutions in every war and armed conflict, and this stance is the same in the case of the Caucasus region.
He emphasized the significance of the Caucasus for Europe, both due to its proximity and its potential to assist the continent in overcoming energy supply crises by tapping into new resources. Therefore, Hungary wishes for Azerbaijan and Armenia to sign a peace agreement as soon as possible, one that will guarantee peace and tranquillity in the region in the coming decades, allowing for peaceful economic development in the area.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/KKM/MTI