The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto paid a visit to Georgia
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto paid a visit to Georgia, on 6 July. He was hosted by his Georgian colleague, David Zalkaliani. The sides discussed issues relating to bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Following the meeting, the two ministers made a joint statement. David Zalkaliani thanked his Hungarian counterpart for the solidarity demonstrated by him, personally, in the challenging times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as for his visit, which is the first high-level visit to Georgia since the outbreak.
The Ministers took special note of the active and successful cooperation between Georgia and Hungary during the pandemic. The Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted Georgia’s success in the fight against the virus. The ministers underlined the need to maintain a positive tendencies and to act carefully for the protection of public health.
“Georgia made considerable progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia has the lowest infection rate in Europe, and I want to congratulate you on this success. Hungary too is successful in dealing with the pandemic. To maintain this achievement, both countries need to take careful steps as human health is first and foremost. Today we discussed the possibilities of opening borders. We quite understand Georgia’s motive for extending travel restrictions. As successful countries in the fight against the pandemic, we both take careful steps. Many Hungarians keen to arrive in Georgia. We agreed to create a working group to regularly exchange relevant information” - Peter Szijjarto said.
The Ministers highlighted that Hungary openly and unequivocally supports Georgia at both bilateral and international forums.
“Hungary is the firm supporter of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. I can recall no such high-level conference or meeting where the Hungarian Foreign Minister has not expressed his clear support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Quite recently, at the NATO and EaP ministerial meetings, he again made very clear messages in support for Georgia” – David Zalkaliani said.
During their meeting the Ministers discussed the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. David Zalkaliani brought to his colleague’s attention the difficult humanitarian situation on the ground.
Special note was taken of the successful education cooperation between the two countries. Today, as part of the Hungarian Minister’s visit to Georgia, Georgia and Hungary will sign a memorandum and an additional protocol on cooperation in the areas of culture and education, including in terms of granting scholarships to Georgian students.
The Ministers also spoke about the Hungarian airlines Wizz Air operating flights from the Kutaisi airport to Europe. According to the Hungarian Minister, Wizz Air successfully cooperates with Georgia and once the airline is fully up and running again, Georgia will be its priority destination. “An increasing number of Hungarians want to visit Georgia. Up to 7000 Hungarians arrived in Georgia over the past year. Due to the pandemic, however, Vizz Air reduced its flights not only to Georgia, but also to many other countries. Your government has always been supporting Vizz Air activities in Georgia. I am sure Vizz Air will reestablish its position in the world soon” - Peter Szijjarto noted.
David Zalkaliani added that Vizz Air is one of the important Hungarian companies in Georgia. “It plays an important role in advancing Georgia’s close ties with Europe” – he said.
During his visit Szijjarto will hold meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, economy, regional developments and education, as well as Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia.