Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, asked his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen in Skopje, North Macedonia on Thursday to help expedite the release of the remaining two Hungarian citizens held hostage in Gaza.
According to the ministry’s statement, during the meeting preceding the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) foreign ministers’ conference, the minister pointed out the ongoing concerns about the security situation in the Middle East. It remains uncertain how long the ceasefire will last, and it’s unknown how many hostages may still be liberated from the captivity of the Hamas terrorist organization, he noted.
‘We considered it expressly good news that an agreement on the ceasefire was reached, and we hope that as many hostages as possible can be released from captivity,’ Szijjártó remarked.
Regarding his discussion with his Israeli counterpart, Szijjártó expressed his gratitude to Eli Cohen for his continued assistance since the outbreak of the conflict whenever Hungarian citizens were in trouble. As an example, he highlighted the relatively swift evacuation of Hungarians from Israel, and that Hungarian citizens were able to leave the Gaza Strip among the first. Moreover, all three Hungarian hostages falling into the categories specified in the Israel–Hamas agreement, namely women or children, have been released.
‘I asked my colleague to assist us in ensuring that the two [remaining] Hungarian nationals who hold dual citizenship can be released from captivity as soon as possible,’ the minister shared.
Péter Szijjártó considered it excellent news that one of the affected individuals is demonstrably alive and stressed the importance of locating the other person. He expressed the hope that both can return home as soon as possible.
‘Of course, our Israeli colleague confirmed that it is also in their interest for every person to return safely and healthy from Hamas captivity. Therefore, we hope that the Hungarian citizen, who is certainly still alive, can be released as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘We also asked the Qatari government to assist in this process, and we hope to receive reliable evidence soon that the other Hungarian currently registered as a hostage is also alive.’
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