On Monday, 30 January Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó met with Moroccan Minister of Education and Innovation Abdellatif Miraoui. During their meeting in Budapest, the ministers welcomed the fact that there is a growing number of Moroccan students applying to Hungarian universities. Szijjártó said that it is internationally well known that the quality of Hungarian tertiary education has improved. The two politicians also discussed issues related to migration and the two countries relations with Israel.
University Exchanges Coming Between the Two Countries
During their joint press conference Szijjártó explained that he and his counterpart signed an agreement that will increase the number of Hungarian university scholarship dedicated to Moroccan students between 2023 and 2025 to 165 from 150. He emphasised that this year has already seen record numbers, as 1151 students from Morocco applied for admission to Hungarian universities. He added that in March a joint meeting of the Hungarian and Moroccan rectors’ conference will be held, Hungarian higher education institutions will be sending guest lecturers to Moroccan universities and research grants will be jointly funded by the two countries.
One of the most important goals of the government is to ensure that the higher education system of the country keeps improving at the international level. The fact that over 1000 Moroccan students applied for admission to Hungarian universities for this academic year shows that the rise in quality of Hungarian higher education is internationally well known and recognised, Péter Szijjártó noted.
Morocco and Hungary Strive to Achieve Peace
The minister stressed that while Morocco is not in the close vicinity of the conflict, it is affected by the war in Ukraine. He cited the example of Moroccan wheat imports, a large portion of which used to be sourced from Ukraine and Russia. This only proves that the war has a negative effect on virtually all countries in the world. Both Morocco and Hungary are actively looking to achieve peace in Ukraine, since the sooner the weapons are put down, the greater the chance to prevent serious global challenges will be, he added.
Morocco’s Stability Helps Tackle Migration
The minister also discussed the issues of migration that the EU is currently facing. He highlighted that Morocco plays an important role in dealing with the challenges posed by migration. The Hungarian minister said that in the last six to seven years the Hungarian experience has been that as long as there is stability in North Africa, the pressure exerted by migration is lesser. Therefore Hungary appreciates those countries that function as a defence line for Europe in Africa, therefore Hungary highly values Morocco’s role.
Péter Szijjártó reminded that Hungary is also able to help in providing this stability, since in 2023, the Hungarian embassy will serve as the NATO liaison in Morocco.
The Hungarian minister also spoke appreciatively of Morocco for normalising their relations with Israel in 2020 by joining the Abraham Accords, which greatly contributed to the strengthening of global security and stability.