Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó will also be discussing details concerning Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Budapest in July with the Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem on Thursday, it transpires from the Minister’s statement to Hungarian news agency MTI.

In addition, Mr. Szijjártó will also be holding talks with several ministers of the Israel Government on economic, political and academic cooperation between the two countries. “The three most important territories of economic cooperation are cooperation with Israel in automobile navigation, the development of a partnership within the field of water management, and the establishment of Hungarian natural gas imports from the gas resources found along Israel’s shoreline in the interests of increasing Hungarian energy security”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.


Mr. Szijjártó will be beginning his negotiations with a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon to discuss issues relating to cooperation between the two countries, including the first visit to Hungary by an Israeli head of government since the regime change in 1989.

“The fact that the Prime Minister of Israel will be visiting Hungary on 18-19 July for the first time since the regime change, and that he will not only be involved in bilateral talks, but will also be meeting the Prime Ministers of the Visegrád Group in view of the fact that Hungary will be acting president of the V4, serves to reinforce our political cooperation”, he added.

Following his meeting with the Israeli prime Minister in Jerusalem, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be holding talks in Tel-Aviv with Minister of Industry and Economy Eli Cohen, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Yuval Steinitz, and with local businesspeople.

“Hungary and Israel are very important political, academic and economic allies”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted. The Hungarian politician told the press that annual trade flow between the two countries exceeds 500 million dollars, and Budapest has opened a fifty million euro credit line at Hungary’s Eximbank to facilitate cooperation between Hungarian and Israeli businesses.

“In the interests of increasing the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy, progress is planned in three particularly important areas, the most important being cooperation in the development of self-driven vehicles”, the minister said.

“The automobile industry provides the backbone of the Hungarian economy, and the future development of this sector of industry fundamentally determines the growth of the Hungarian economy”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted.

Close cooperation with Israel could make Hungary the European centre for the testing and development of self-driven vehicles. “Based on the buying up of certain companies, it has become clear that Israel will be one of the global centres for the development of autonomic vehicles, meaning vehicles that are capable of driving themselves. Israeli company NavNGo is one of the Hungarian Government’s strategic partners, employs hundreds of GPS software engineers in Hungary and is one of the world leaders within the field of developing GPS software, and plays an extremely important role in making self-driven cars a reality”, Mr Szijjártó said, characterising the relationship that forms the foundations for further cooperation.

“We are constructing a unique track for the testing of self-driven vehicles in Zalaegerszeg, which will enable Hungary to be the European centre for development within the sector. We will also be concluding an inter-governmental agreement on the subject”, Mr. Szijjártó added.

“Demand for water in Israel exceeds the quantity that can be provided for by traditional water stocks, and accordingly irrigation systems and engineering tasks within the field of water management are being given are being given particular attention. This is the second area in which important cooperation is expected between the two countries: Budapest Waterworks is already involved in joint activities with several large Israeli water management companies, and in July will be commencing a joint investment project to develop chlorine-based water purification equipment”, the Minister explained.

The third area of cooperation will be the energy industry. In 2010, a huge natural gas deposit was found in the Mediterranean neat the coast of Israel, containing 1300 billion cubic metres of gas resources. “Israel could play a significant role in the energy security of Europe and Hungary. If extraction begins according to schedule in 2019-2020, the Hungary will have an interest in purchasing gas (either via a pipeline or in the form of liquefied natural gas) in view of the fact that we would like to purchase natural gas form as many sources as possible”, Mr. Szijjártó said in the statement, explaining the Ministry’s plans within this field.

With relation to political cooperation, the Minister said that Hungary has always been a committed supported of close relations between the European Union and Israel. “We have always called for a balanced approach to Israel within the UN, are supporting the Middle Eastern peace process and are providing all possible assistance towards the establishment of a two-state system based on direct negotiations”, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted prior to his negotiations in Jerusalem.