“Hungary has special respect for those who place their nation’s interests first and are also prepared to make sacrifices for it”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Wednesday in Budapest.

The Minister met with State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, following which the two politicians held a joint press conference.

“Aung San Suu Kyi is always afforded great respect and appreciation when she visits Hungary in view of the fact that she has done a lot for her country’s and nation’s freedom”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said. In Hungary, we understand exactly what it is like when one must fight for their country’s and nation’s freedom”, he added.

“Hungary is supporting the closest possible cooperation between the EU and Myanmar, but is not supporting the confusion of political and trade issues on the part of Brussels and for it to approach cooperation using double standards or in a hypocritical manner”, Mr. Szijjártó stated.

“Within the framework of its Eastern Opening strategy, Hungary is striving to establish close cooperation with the Southeast Asian region in view of the fact that it is one of the world’s most rapidly developing regions from both a political and economic perspective”, he said.

“And Myanmar can boast the largest rate of growth in the otherwise already rapidly developing ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, which proves that a politics based on the enforcement of national interests is also bringing economic gains to the county”, he stated.

The Minister also mentioned that Eximbank has opened a 46-million-dollar credit line to facilitate cooperation between enterprises from Hungary and Myanmar, negotiations are underway on the launching of a tied aid loan programme, and a joint economic committee is going to be set up. “In addition, Hungary will be providing 30 scholarship places-a-year to enable Myanmarese students to attend Hungarian universities”, he added.

Aung San Suu Kyi emphasised that although Hungary and Myanmar have been linked by diplomatic relations for a long time, their cooperation is not as close as the two parties would like, and for this reason both countries are committed to making relations more effective.

She said that in her view reinforcing trade relations is serving the interests of both countries, and the Southeast Asian nation highly appreciates friendly countries that believe in the opportunities that lie in Myanmar. “We would particularly like to reinforce our cooperation with Hungary within the fields of agriculture and research & development in view of the fact that Myanmar has an extremely extensive agriculture and this field also requires research & development to enable it to meet the challenges caused by climate change”, she explained.

“Like all developing countries, Myanmar is indeed fighting major battles on international forums, but we are capable of meeting the challenges”, Aung San Suu Kyi highlighted.

“An embassy will hopefully soon be opening in Budapest”, she noted.