“Hungarian interests will continue to be the only guiding principle behind Hungarian foreign policy in future”, Péter Szijjártó declared at his hearing before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, prior to being reappointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Hungarian foreign policy will not be dictated by others, it will be determined exclusively by Hungarian interests”, the politician stressed, listing protecting the country’s sovereignty, security and Hungarian identity as some of the Ministry’s most important tasks.

He also stressed that Hungary would like to play its part in the fight to preserve Christian culture.

The Ministry also plans to continue to support the dynamic improvement of Hungary’s competitiveness using foreign economic instruments, he continued.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that achieving our goals will also not be free from conflict in future, but the Ministry will shoulder all of the conflicts that are necessary to achieve this. The rule of thumb is “what you reap is what you sow”, he said, stressing: No attack on Hungary will be ignored or left without response.

The ministerial candidate spoke about migration, indicating that Hungary will be taking firm action to prevent the European Union from adopting the African standpoint, as indeed it will also be fighting to prevent the illegal crossing of state borders from being portrayed as a fundamental human right. He also said that Hungary will be maintaining its role in the international fight against terrorism.

With relation to the EU, Mr. Szijjártó said the Ministry will be fighting against the “false image” according to which EU funding is some kind of gesture of charity and an “act of kindness” in the part of our friends in the West. Hungary is entitled to EU funding in accordance with the EU treaties, he underlined, noting that 70 percent of the EU funding that arrives in Hungary finds its way back to Western European enterprises through various channels.

He also promised that Visegrád Group (V4) cooperation will remain at the focus of Hungarian foreign policy, adding that in his opinion the V4 continues to be the closest and most effective alliance within the EU today.

Hungarian diplomacy will continue to take action to protect cross-border Hungarian communities in future, he added.

Reporting on his work so far as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Szijjártó Péter said he had visited 91 countries and held negotiations with 174 foreign ministers.

According to the Minister, foreign policy has never before been part of domestic policy to such an extent as in recent years, and the global political and economic processes of the upcoming years will be no less intense than they were in recent years.

In reply to questions from the Committee, Mr. Szijjártó said the Ministry’s portfolio will be growing to include the Information Office and international energy negotiations, for instance. He commented the Information Office’s transfer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by stating that the enforcement of Hungarian political and economic interests will be gaining a new instrument as a result of the move, because in his view it is clear that in addition to its political function, the Office will also have an economic function.

On the subject of Hungarian-Ukrainian relations, the politician pointed out that until last autumn Hungary was one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, but then Ukrainian Parliament adopted the amendment to its Education Act, which grossly violates the rights of national minorities, including the Hungarian national minority in Transcarpathia. With relation to the situation, Mr. Szijjártó confirmed that the Hungarian Government will be maintaining its veto of negotiations between NATO and Ukraine until it receives suitable legal guarantees that the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians will not be infringed upon.

With regard to the relationship between Hungary and the United States, Mr. Szijjártó said the situation has improved with the Republican administration, but the opportunity for a qualitative improvement came with the appointment of a new Secretary of State for the development of European relations, whose visit to Hungary in the near future is on the agenda.

On the subject of the situation concerning the Catholic Lyceum in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș), Mr. Szijjártó said he believes there is a chance that teaching will be able to commence when the new academic year begins in September.

In closing, with relation to the Government’s Southern Opening policy, Mr Szijjártó pointed out that without state assistance it would not have been possible to achieve a significant increase in exports to the countries involved.

Following the report, the Foreign Affairs Committee approved the reappointment of Péter Szijjártó as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter by 7 governing party votes in favour and 2 opposition votes against.