Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was in Israel on Monday for talks relating to the Iranian nuclear program and attempts to isolate Israel diplomatically, and to sign bilateral agreements. Discussions also focused on the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” plan.
Szijjártó said during the visit at relations between the two nations were “stronger than ever” and that they could always count on one another. He also voiced his support for the U.S. administration’s peace plan, which he said can serve as a basis for a process that leads to peace and security. Noting that all previous attempts at peace in the region have failed, Szijjártó called for patience, trust and support for dialogue based on the White House plan.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called Hungary “a true friend of Israel” that was “working to safeguard and protect Israel’s interests against those who try to isolate us,” according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
With regard to Iran, Ashkenazi called for the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear pact to be dropped entirely, a policy he said Israel was confident Budapest would support.
“I expressed our concern to the Hungarian foreign minister about Iran’s incessant violations of its nuclear commitments,” said Ashkenazi said. “In our view, the solution to these violations is complete renunciation of the nuclear agreement, and it is our expectation that the Hungarian government will support this policy.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s steadfast support for Israel in international forums and in the European Union, and his hope that relations between Budapest and Jerusalem would strengthen further in the coming years.
Hungary is seen as one of Israel’s strongest allies within the European Union, and with growing condemnations in Europe regarding Israel’s plan to apply its sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria under the aegis of the U.S. peace plan, the Jewish state is looking to its friends to counterbalance any retaliatory steps that might be taken against it.