Parliament Building (Budapest, Hungary)

“Europe’s stability begins with African stability in view of the fact that migration pressure from Africa is still not tangibly diminishing, and therefore Europe’s best defence is to assure that there is peace, stability and economic growth in Africa”, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told reporters following a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart in Budapest on Tuesday.

At their joint press conference, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “This is precisely why the development of European cooperation with Sudan has gained speed recently”.

 Photo: Bernadett Fejér

“Sudanese foreign policy is significantly open towards Europe and the United States, and this has been reciprocated by both parties, meaning Hungary’s task is to also make the resulting advantages available to Hungarian enterprises”, he pointed out.

“Africa is approaching a phase of explosive development, and accordingly the global economy’s major powers are showing increasing interests in the continent. Sudan’s geopolitical situation has changed significantly with the independence of South Sudan, and this development has necessitated a new direction for economic development, which also represents new opportunities”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

“A new era has begun in cooperation between Europe and Sudan, the United States has lifted the previously introduced sanctions and cooperation with Sudan in the part of the international community in the fight against terrorism is also gaining increasing strength”, he pointed out. “Accordingly, it is right that an EU member state should also develop bilateral relations with Sudan according to its own national economy interests”, the Foreign Minister said.

 Photo: Bernadett Fejér

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that Hungarian enterprises can primarily expect to find excellent opportunities in Sudan within four main areas: agriculture, and especially irrigation and water management, healthcare services, infrastructure development, and renewable energies. “In the interests of providing Hungarian enterprises with onsite representation, a non-independent permanent representation and consular office with a foreign affairs attaché will be opened in Khartoum”, he announced.

The Minister also told reporters that 25 Sudanese students will be afforded scholarship places to attend Hungarian universities from next September.

Mr. Szijjártó spoke about the fact that Sudan’s counter terrorism agency is working in close cooperation with Hungary’s Counter Terrorism Centre (TEK), with a delegation scheduled to visit Budapest in November.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandur told reporters that his country enjoys favourable natural characteristics with plenty of farmland and water, but that expertise is require to exploit these capabilities, and this is why Hungary is an important partner for Sudan.

Sudan has acquired lots of experience within the field of combatting terrorism, and the country’s unique geographical location at the heart of Africa has provided Sudanese security agencies with experience that could also be important in the fight against organised crime and with relation to handling illegal migration, he said.

 Photo: Bernadett Fejér

Prior to the press conference, the ministers concluded inter-governmental agreements on business and technical cooperation.

In reply to a question concerning the Hungarian citizen recently kidnapped in Nigeria, Mr. Szijjártó said the Ministry is in continuous contact with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the TEK is maintaining similar contact with German and Nigerian partner organisations.

With relation to the case of the Hungarian truck driver attacked in Belgium, Mr. Szijjártó told the press that no official information has been received as yet, only informal information according to which two people are suspected of carrying out the attack who arrived in Europe as migrants, but did not want to submit their asylum requests in Belgium, meaning they have violated European law and both the Schengen and Dublin regulations on multiple occasions.

[Source: Government of Hungary (MTI) -/- Media Relations]
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