“Hungary is a very important friend and a respected partner of Bulgaria within the EU”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Daniel Mitov at a joint press conference with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó. The press conference took place within the framework of the working visit of Minister Mitov to Budapest.
The two minsiters discussed a number of topics in the field of bilateral relations, as well as the EU agenda including the migration crisis, Euro-Atlantic security and other international issues.
“I believe that our mutual support will continue to deepen because we have, in many cases, a common understanding of the direction where we need to go in order to find not only the solutions for the migration crisis but also for the future of the EU”, said Minister Daniel Mitov. He added that despite the nuances in positions on some issues there is a mutual understanding that a clear and definite common position can be reached.
Minister Mitov and Minister Szijjártó agreed that the most important task for the EU is the protection of its external borders through joint efforts. The Union must perceive itself as one whole that cannot afford to lose already achieved freedoms, said the Bulgarian Foreign Minister.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártóunderlined that Bulgaria should not be left alone in the battle against illegal migration, because the successful protection of Bulgaria’s external borders is in the interest of the whole of Europe. According to Minister Szijjártó Bulgaria should be acknowledged as its efforts in relation to safeguarding the EU’s borders are even greater than those of some Schengen member state. Therefore, on the basis of what has been done so far, Bulgaria deserves membership in Schengen and Hungary will support it, so that it happens as quickly as possible. Minister Mitov thanked his colleague and expressed hope that Bulgaria will soon enter the first stage of the accession process to the Area by opening its air and sea borders.
The ministers agreed that the so called “hot spot” refugee camps should be outside the EU. “I think that this is a common understanding that we all stand for”, said Mitov. He also stated that the misunderstandings and bitter discussions on migration should cease as the focus of attention should be on challenges coming from outside the EU. Minister Mitov noted that the solution to the migration crisis is not in the quotas but in stopping the inflow of illegal migrants.
The Bulgarian Minister congratulated the Hungarian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. This is an event which Bulgarians view with profound admiration as one of the first revolutions to take place in Eastern Europe. “To be part of the European family of free nations is of utmost priority for both - Bulgaria and Hungary”, said Mitov and expressed his assurance that this will not change.
During his visit in Hungary the Bulgarian Foreign Minister also met with the Head of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Zsolt Németh and gave a public lecture on “The Future of Europe – a pragmatic approach” in the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade.