“Hungary and Brazil are applying a similar approach with relation to issues that represent a dilemma in global politics: they agree on the need to take action against migration, and regard discrimination against Christians as unacceptable”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Budapest following a meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo.

At a joint press conference following the meeting, Mr. Szijjártó called the visit a moment of diplomatic history in view of the fact that this is the first time that a Brazilian Foreign Minister has held talks in Hungary.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, Hungary and Brazil, the Hungarian Government and the Brazilian presidential administration, are applying a totally similar approach to issues that represent a dilemma in global politics. “We are proud to be among the six countries that voted no to the UN Global Compact for Migration”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister added, calling the proposal “the most dangerous document ever drawn up”.

“We reserve the right to decide for ourselves who we allow into our own country and who we want to live with”, he declared. According to Mr. Szijjártó, he and his Brazilian counterpart both regard it as important to draw attention to the fact that migration is also a security issue, and that the security risk brought about by the wave of migration must be taken seriously. “The Brazilian Foreign Minister and I agreed to regularly harmonise our action against migration in international organisations, and primarily within the United Nations”, he told the press.

“At the meeting, the parties also agreed that the discrimination against Christians being seen in many places around the world is unacceptable, as is the fact that international public opinion is dismissing the fact that Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion”, he also stated. Mr. Szijjártó said he had briefed the Brazilian Foreign Minister on the fact that Hungary has helped 35 thousand Middle Eastern Christians remain at home or return home to date. “This should also be at the focus of attention of international organisations, instead of managing and encouraging migration”, he pointed out. “The fact that both the Hungarian and Brazilian governments regard national interests as paramount and reject influence attempts from abroad provides a good basis for cooperation between the two countries”, he emphasised. According to Mr. Szijjártó, this is one of the reasons why Hungary is supporting Brazil’s application for membership of both the EU Security Council and the OECD.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister praised Brazil’s role in international politics and the global economy, and declared: the Hungarian Government has adopted a strategy for placing Hungarian-Brazilian relations on new foundations. “Based on this, a 415-million-euro credit line has been opened at EximBank to finance relations between Hungarian and Brazilian enterprises, primarily to facilitate the export of Hungarian food industry, IT, water industry and pharmaceutical industry products, and the further reinforcement of Hungarian enterprises already present on the Brazilian market”, he told the press. He also announced that an agreement had been reached on raising the positions of the Co-Chairs of the joint economic committee between the two countries to the level of foreign minister. “Cooperation is also being tightened within the field of education, in addition to which new impetus will also be given to bilateral trade flow between the two countries, which reached 430 million dollars last year”, he also stated. In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó expressed his hope that the current visit by the Brazilian Foreign Minister and the session of the joint economic committee scheduled for the autumn will represent a suitable level of preparation to enable the Brazilian President to accept the invitation to visit Hungary presented to him by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in early January.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo spoke about the fact that Hungary and Brazil are two countries that would like to have their voices heard around the world, and are not shy to enter into confrontation to defend of their ideals. “We are prepared to cooperate with Hungary in various multilateral institutions in the interests of protecting our interests and Christian communities”, he stressed. Mr. Araújo called the persecution of Christian minorities alarming, and indicated that as one of the world’s largest Christian countries, Brazil is handling this issue as a priority. The Brazilian Foreign Minister declared that Brazil would also like to cooperate with Hungary within fields such as migration, and that the parties share a very similar opinion on the fact that sovereignty is required with relation to handling migration. As he explained, he does not wish to deny the fact that Brazil has been extremely open to immigrants during the course of history, but this issue must be the sovereign decision of each individual country, and international institutions or supranational organisations must not be allowed to dictate on this issue. Prior to the press conference, the ministers signed an extradition treaty between Hungary and Brazil.

In reply to a question on whether Michel Barnier would be acceptable to Fidesz as a candidate for the post of European Commission President instead of Manfred Weber, the current top candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP), Mr. Szijjártó said: it would be much more democratic to wait for the results of the European Parliament (EP) elections before making decisions with relation to posts. He indicated, however, that there is no EU regulation concerning the fact that European Union officials must be chosen from the so-called top candidates put forward by the EP’s party families. “One thing is certain: we will not be supporting Mr. Weber”, he stated.

With relation to the statement by European People’s Party President Joseph Daul concerning the fact that if Viktor Orbán continues to insult the European Union, then the EPP will expel him, or he will have to exit the party himself, Mr. Szijjártó commented: “An interesting standpoint, except it has no relevance”. “We will decide for ourselves how long we wish to be members of the EPP”, added the Minister, according to whom Hungary would prefer to be engaged in the debate on whether the EPP should be opening towards the right or left.