“We will never be able to stop the fight against terrorism, and Hungary is committed to continuing this fight”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Friday in Budapest.

At a joint press conference following talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart, the Minister  stressed: “The Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka also drew attention to the importance of this fight”.  “The attacks were mainly aimed at people taking part in Easter religious services, and Christian communities are among the most persecuted religious communities in the world”, he stated.

“We rarely talk about this because of political correctness and hypocrisy, but we do not accept the fact that anti-Christianity should allowed to be the last acceptable form of discrimination”, he added. Mr. Szijjártó said he had expressed his condolences and solidarity to the Sri Lankan government and people with relation to the attacks, adding he has also expressed his appreciation to the Sri Lankan government concerning the measures it has taken to apprehend the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks.

“Hungary pledged 20 million forints in emergency aid to the country following the attacks”, Mr. Szijjártó stated. The Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that a significant level of economic cooperation seems to be developing, the basis of which is Hungary’s 47.5 billion forint (EUR 147 million) tied aid loan programme within the framework of which Hungarian companies are constructing motorway overpasses, developing the country’s water network, refurbishing railway intersections and modernising Sri Lanka’s court system. “Eximbank is also facilitating cooperation between Hungarian and Sri Lankan enterprises with a 90-million-dollar credit line”, he stated.

“Hungary is also calling for the EU to increase its funding for Sri Lanka”, Mr. Szijjártó said. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana highlighted the fact that his country regards the expansion of relations with the countries of Europe as extremely important, in which Hungary is one of its most important partners. He pointed out that his visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. “Sri Lanka is committed to tightening relations with Hungary and reinforcing economic cooperation”, he declared.