“Hungary and Israel are close allies with relation to security and economic cooperation, and are also working together in international organisations”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to public media in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The Minister accompanied Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on an official visit to Israel. Mr. Szijjártó met with Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Avi Dichter and Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Yuval Rotem.


“Hungary’s standpoint is obvious, and we are always absolutely open about it: international organisations put forward positions that are often extremely unfair and biased with relation to Israel, but Hungary always takes action against these in the interests of a fair and balanced approach”, the Minister said. “With relation to the Middle-East peace process one must not confuse trade and economic sanctions with establishing peace, because the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other”, he also stated.

“We also reject attempts to resolve a conflict through economic and trade restrictions, bans and blockades on principle, because it simply won’t work”, the Minister said.

“Hungary does not use the method of labelling despite the European Commission’s recommendation, meaning it does not indicate if a product was made in settled areas. Because the EU’s goal with this is clearly to reduce demand for these products”, he said. Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion these enterprises also employ Palestinians, and if they go bankrupt those Palestinians will lose their jobs.

“Hungary is also against the UN making the list of enterprises operating in settled areas public, because that would have a similar effect. “It would make life difficult for these enterprises, but the true losers would be the Palestinians, who would also lose their jobs and could easily change from being desperate people into being terrorists, which is in nobody’s interests”, he pointed out.

“With relation to security issues, it is important that Hungary fought together with Israel against the UN Global Compact for Migration”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

“Israel is also taking a frim stance in support of stopping illegal migration processes, and the stopping of migration processes aimed at Europe from the South also often occurs at Israel’s borders”, he said. “With relation to economic cooperation, it is good news that last year bilateral trade flow exceeded 500 million dollars, and cooperation within innovative automotive industry activities is also increasingly close”, he explained.

“The future of the automotive industry is about self-driven cars, and the most advanced technologies required to develop these are partly applied here for the first time”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “In view of the fact that the Hungarian Government is also doing a lot to ensure that European and American companies develop and apply the technologies required for self-driven vehicles in Hungary, close cooperation has come about within this field”, he pointed out.

“Within the field of the food industry, Europe’s largest Kosher slaughterhouse was built in Csongrád County with funding from the Hungarian Government, towards which Eximbank provided a 2-billion-forint (EUR 6.3 million) loan, and 540 million forints (EUR 1.7 million) in non-returnable funding was provided via the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA)”, the Minister said. “Hungarian food industry exports to Israel are continuously increasing, and 97 percent of the country’s poultry and goose liver imports come from Hungary, and this clearly indicates that Hungarian food industry products, which represent a high level of quality, have a major market in Israel”, he stated.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)