“Relations between Portugal and Hungary are determined by mutual respect, while accepting the fact that we have a different opinion about certain issues”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday in Lisbon at a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Ernesto dos Santos Silva.

As he explained, everyone is aware of the Hungarian government’s anti-immigration stance, while the Portuguese government is applying a different approach. “However, there is one point with relation to which we will be working together effectively and determinedly in the upcoming period, and that is the pursuit of assuring that the European Union has an effective Africa Strategy”, he added. According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the parties would like to realise development projects that will improve the living conditions of people in Africa, and which will enable the African people to find their future in Africa. Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that Hungary is assisting African countries with tied aid loan and development programs, and is providing over a thousand scholarship places for African students to attend Hungarian universities. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade also highlighted the importance of economic cooperation, explaining that the parties have established a 7-billion-forint joint fund to support Hungarian and Portuguese small- and medium-sized enterprises that are active within the fields of digitalisation and digital development projects.

The Minister also reported on the fact that during the course of the day the parties signed a space industry cooperation agreement, as a result of which Hungary and Portugal will be  cooperating in the development of modern satellite technologies and the exchange of satellite data, as we as in robot technology and telecommunications development projects. Mr. Szijjártó said a further area of cooperation is education, highlighting the fact that in Hungary the Portuguese language is taught at four universities and eight secondary schools. He said Hungary would like more young people to have the opportunity to become acquainted with and study the Portuguese language. He emphasised that this is one of the reasons why Hungary has joined the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as an observer, and is affording scholarship places to students from the Community, who are being taught Hungarian language teaching methodology. He added that, in addition, Hungary is realising important water management programs. Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that Hungary has placed Portugal in the Green (safe) category within its COVID-19 travel recommendation system, thereby enabling unrestricted travel to and from Portugal. He pointed out that Hungarian airline WizzAir offers three air passenger services-a-week between Budapest and the Portuguese capital.

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)