A political agreement has been reached on the purchase of Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Hungary. According to this agreement, the parties will enter into a long-term contract for the period after 2026, thereby further enhancing the country’s energy security, as announced by Péter Szijjártó, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Wednesday in Doha.
The ministry’s statement highlighted that after negotiations with his Qatari counterpart and the ministers of energy and finance, the minister disclosed that discussions had covered several essential aspects of bilateral cooperation. These included the ongoing critical situation of secure energy supply in Europe. ‘Hungary has been able to maintain its energy security even in the toughest times because we approach the purchase of energy carriers not on ideological or political grounds but on practical, physical grounds, with common sense,’ Szijjártó declared.
He emphasized the need for incorporating new energy sources in Hungary, with the objective not being the replacement of existing suppliers. Furthermore, he pointed out that Qatar plans a significant expansion of LNG exports from 2026 onwards. As a result of the earlier political agreement, inter-company negotiations have commenced regarding the transportation of LNG to Hungary, signifying a crucial development for the long-term guarantee of the country’s energy security.
Regarding possible transit routes, he noted that there are various options, whether through LNG terminals in Turkey, Greece, or Poland.
However, he stressed the urgency of expediting the ongoing capacity expansion projects in Southeast Europe. Subsequently, Szijjártó welcomed the continuous development of bilateral economic relations and the breaking of export records. He highlighted Qatar’s appreciation for Hungary’s ability to demonstrate that it can operate its economy without European Union funds, achieving economic growth and setting records in investments and exports.
‘The Qataris specifically value Hungary as a reliable and attractive investment destination. Progress is expected, especially in infrastructure investments and financial cooperation in the coming period,’ he added. The minister touched upon the Middle East conflict, expressing grave concern about its global implications. He called for global action to prevent escalation and mentioned recent negative developments, including clashes between Israel and Hezbollah and attacks on commercial ships and US military bases in the region.
‘The past weeks of the Middle East conflict have produced several signs indicating an escalation risk more serious than ever. Therefore, we believe that today the most important task for the international community is to prevent the escalation of the Middle East conflict,’ he cautioned. He emphasized the need for countries with sufficient influence and responsible behaviour to play a stabilizing role, citing Qatar as such a country.
The minister also praised Doha’s role in the release of some hostages abducted by Hamas, including three Hungarian citizens.
He revealed that another Hungarian citizen might be held by terrorist organization and requested assistance from his Qatari counterpart in facilitating their prompt return. ‘I have received the assurance that, as before, they will do everything to ensure that as many hostages held by Hamas as possible can be released as soon as possible, and they will also ensure that the Hungarian citizen hostage regains freedom at the earliest opportunity,’ he conveyed.
He expressed hope that negotiations on new hostage exchanges would succeed sooner rather than later, drawing on his recent first-hand experience in Israel, where he heard about the dramatic circumstances from the families of some returned hostages and captives.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/KKM/MTI