“Hungary is committed to protecting European Judeo-Christian heritage and is proud of the Jewish community living in Hungary”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Washington.

In his speech prior to a concert held in commemoration of Theodor Herzl at the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Wednesday evening local time, the Minister stressed: “One of Budapest’s largest catholic churches can be found very close to the Dohány Street Great Synagogue, which is a good illustration of the fact that Jews and Christians can live together in peace in Hungary”.

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“However, many in Western Europe believe we are living in some kind of post-Christian, post-national era, but if Europe forgets about its Judeo-Christian heritage and about the fact that Europe is made up of nations, it could lose a great deal”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

“Hungary is proud of its Jewish community, which has made major contributions to the country’s development. The Hungarian Government has declared a policy of zero tolerance with relation to anti-Semitism”, he reminded those present.

“Hungary is standing up in support of a fair and balanced approach to Israel in international affairs. The two countries are linked by many strands, including the fact that we both regard the security of our own citizens as our top priority”, he pointed out.

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“Theodor Herzl, the father of the modern-day Jewish state, was born in Budapest”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out, adding: “Israel is a strong county with a strong nation”.

Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer spoke about the fact that Hungarian-Israeli relations are extremely good, and cooperation between the two countries is becoming increasingly close within several areas. “Innovation is important to both countries, which is yet another strand that links the two countries”, he added.

“Israel values its friendship with Hungary and the country’s backing and its stance in support of Israel in international organisations”, he said. “Israel is also highly appreciative of the fact that the Hungarian Prime Minister has declared a policy of zero tolerance against anti-Semitism”, the Israeli Ambassador said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)