Marking the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of Israeli–Hungarian diplomatic relations, a commemorative stamp and envelope were presented on Tuesday in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

State Secretary László Szabó noted that it was on 18 September 1989 when the agreement on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations was signed in Budapest.

DownloadPhoto: Márton Kovács/KKM

He also recalled how diplomatic relations between Israel and countries of the Eastern Bloc had to be suspended after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war under pressure from the Soviet Union, causing harm not only to people-to-people contacts, but also to all these countries’ economic interests.

The re-establishment of diplomatic relations; however, revived our friendly and mutually beneficial collaboration and contributed to the realisation of national economic interests, he said.

According to the State Secretary, co-operation between the two countries has further strengthened over the past 25 years, mostly in innovative sectors, such as the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare and agriculture, the food industry and tourism.

DownloadPhoto: Márton Kovács/KKM

In the Central-Eastern-European region, Hungary attracts most of the Israeli investments and can also boast of strong cultural, educational ties with hundreds of Israeli students studying in Hungary, whereas more and more Hungarian students applying for study programmes in Israel as well.

Following up on the State Secretary’s remarks, His Excellency Ilan Mor, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary emphasised that the close relation between Israel and Hungary is built on common rich historical heritage as well as the prospect of strengthened future co-operation.

He also elaborated on how the heart-shaped motive of the flags on the stamp symbolises the enduring co-operative efforts of both sides, starting on 18 September 1989, which will be always remembered by Israel.

Moreover, this relationship has evolved into a comprehensive and strong bond, which does not only connect the governments of the two countries, but also their people. This is also represented by the fact that several bilateral contracts have been signed to deepen co-operation in the fields of education, science and research.

In this regard, the role of the Hungarian Jewish community should be highlighted as well. Their contribution in shaping bilateral ties is highly appreciated, together with the efforts taken by Hungarians living in Israel. Given the need to enhance economic co-operation and lay more emphasis on innovative sectors and agriculture, these communities could play a significant role in strengthening bilateral relations.

His Excellency Ilan Mor also expressed his appreciation for the Hungarian government’s courageous decision and significant initiative to announce 2014 as Holocaust Memorial Year on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Hungarian Holocaust. He also recalled the speech given in Auschwitz by President of Hungary János Áder together with Minister Navracsics’ remarks at the event organised by the Tom Lantos Institute. He also emphasised that in order to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism, the Hungarian society has to bear in mind past happenings in order to build a prosperous future.

Csaba Polacsek, Chairman of the Board at the Hungarian Post Ltd. recounted the several publications issued over the past years in relation to Israeli-Hungarian bilateral ties. These include among others a certificate on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Israeli-Hungarian diplomatic relations, a series of special stamps about Jewish art and synagogues in Hungary as well as stamps portraying Raoul Wallenberg and commemorating the holocaust.