The visit of the Hungarian Foreign Minister gave new impetus to our four-decade-old bilateral friendship: FM

Despite its brevity, Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó’s official visit to the Maldives has definitely given new impetus to the four-decade-old bilateral friendship between the two countries, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said.

The minister said this in his statement at the joint press conference held on Wednesday as part of the Hungarian Foreign Minister’s brief visit to the archipelago nation.

Emphasizing that Hungarian FM’s visit is historic, marking Hungary’s first high-level visit to the Maldives, FM Shahid said that although it was short, it gave new impetus to the two countries’ bilateral friendship.

He went on to reveal that the two ministers had exchanged views on several thematic areas, including education, economic cooperation, youth and sports, health, tourism, fisheries and agriculture, and the environment. and climate change during official talks on Wednesday morning.

FM Shahid expressed his gratitude to the Hungarian Minister for his commitment to supporting the development priorities of the Maldives, particularly in the health sector.

Three key agreements were also signed during the visit.

Among these was a key agreement on strengthening mutual collaboration on development priorities. This agreement aims to facilitate cooperation in important areas of development and to provide a framework to promote commercial ties and improve trade between our countries. A joint commission will also be created under this agreement, to review and discuss ongoing projects and potential areas of cooperation.

Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

FM Shahid then thanked Minister Szijjártó for his tireless and continuous efforts to support the island nation’s attempt to reduce tariffs on tuna exports to the EU market.

Shedding light on the agreement on sports diplomacy, FM Shahid expressed confidence that the Maldives will greatly benefit from it, especially through the exchange of technical skills, information and training programs between the two countries.

In our discussions today, we also discussed the importance of strengthening ties between peoples and promoting our cultural values. I thank Minister Szijjártó for Hungary’s decision today to join the VFS Visa Facilitation Center established in Malé. Along with Hungary, the VFS Visa Facilitation Center would now offer visa facilitation services for Maldivians to travel to five different countries in Europe. I also thank Minister Szijjártó for his continued support for our efforts to secure visa-free travel for Maldivian nationals to European Union Member States. »

Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Recalling the generous and timely humanitarian assistance provided by the Government of Hungary in collaboration with the Honorary Consul of the Maldives to Hungary, Radu Morar and the Honorary Consul General of Hungary to the Maldives, Mohamed Ali Janah, to facilitate safe passage for Maldivian students to leaving Ukraine in March 2022, FM Shahid thanked his Hungarian counterpart for his personal commitment and response to the request.

The Maldivian minister further commended the Hungarian government for its leading role in providing much needed humanitarian aid during the ongoing conflict in Europe.

Minister Szijjártó and I have met several times in the past, most of them in New York during my presidency of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Minister Szijjártó and the Hungarian government for the support given to me and my team during my tenure as PGA. I also salute the important work carried out by Ambassador Kőrösi of Hungary as the current President of the UNGA. I assure you that the Maldives will continue to support Ambassador Kőrösi’s priorities and will continue to work closely with Hungary in the multilateral arena to overcome global challenges of mutual concern.

Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In conclusion, FM Shahid thanked Hungarian FM for accepting his invitation and undertaking the official visit to the Maldives and expressed his great joy in hosting him.

FM Shahid expressed confidence that the two countries will be able to build on the constructive discussions held during the visit and further strengthen Maldives-Hungary relations in the years to come.

Laura T. Thrasher