In Budapest on Tuesday, after receiving Norbert Hofer, Acting President of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) in his office, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that Hungary has an interest in Austria continuing its rejection of every form of terrorism and political Islam, and in it defending Europe against migrants.

At a joint press conference the Prime Minister said that “there is agreement between us on these issues”.

He said that the present period is a sensitive one, as there will be an election in Austria, and the path that has led to it is “also a highly sensitive one”. He indicated that the Hungarian government does not wish to interfere in the Austrian election in any way: “it is the Austrian people who must decide about Austria”.

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At the same time, he expressed the hope that a strong and stable government comes into being in Austria after the early parliamentary election being held at the end of September.

He described Austria as a strategic and historical partner, stressing that therefore Hungary has an interest in the success of its neighbouring country.

Mr. Orbán told his visitor that “we are committed to cooperation. We agree that each country is important for the other. Austria continues to be an extremely important country for Hungary”.

The Prime Minister stressed that he greatly appreciates the work done in recent years by the Freedom Party of Austria as a governing party. He highlighted that they have established very good relations at governmental level. “We have learnt that we have similar views on a number of issues. At today’s meeting we wanted to confirm that we continue to agree on some important questions,”  he stated.

He wished the President of the Freedom Party of Austria success in the election and the successful formation of a government, and expressed the hope that Austria will “remain an eminent and stable partner to Hungary”. Mr. Hofer said that he is hopeful about the outcome of the election, and that after it they will be able to continue their fruitful cooperation with Hungary.

The President of the FPÖ described defence against political Islam as a major priority.

He further pointed out that, in his view, Hungary is in every respect growing and developing dynamically.

Mr. Hofer observed that there are many Hungarian businesses operating in Austria as well as many Hungarian individuals working in Austria, which means that cooperation between the two countries is “very intensive”.

In answer to a question regarding the fact that on Tuesday Ursula von der Leyen, the elected President of the European Commission, announced that she intends the position of Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations for László Trócsányi, Mr. Orbán said that enlargement of the European Union is a fine and ambitious task, and that the Hungarian people relish such tasks.

He said that Mr. Trócsányi has extensive experience, understands the essence of Europe, and is a suitable person to help the countries intending to join the EU in adopting European regulations, norms and values.

The Prime Minister added that the EU is facing a great many historical challenges, and one of them– the most important one for the Hungarian people – is enlargement towards the Balkans.