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Press statement by Viktor Orbán

Ladies and Gentlemen, taking into the consideration that we have Hungarian press here, would you be so kind as to allow me to speak Hungarian?

Benjamin Netanyahu: Please!

You also know that the plan was for the Visegrád Group’s four prime ministers to arrive here in Jerusalem. That was almost successful, and I feel that the first attempt was encouraging. That meeting has now been delayed, but it will come about. The second thing I would like to say is that we are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the resumption of Israeli-Hungarian relations. The purpose of my visit here is also to express my respect for Israel – and in particular the Prime Minister, who has played a vital and indispensable role in the resumption of cooperation between Israel and Central Europe. We talked about political issues. I made it clear to the Prime Minister that one of the important objectives in the European Union election is to be able to combat anti-Semitism. After the European Union election we are striving to… So there’s no translation at all? OK. I’ll continue in English.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israeli technology failed. That’s unusual.

OK. But don’t worry; I’ll say it in English, anyway. So first of all, we made an agreement in Budapest – when your Prime Minister was so kind to visit us – that there will be a V4 meeting here with the Government of Israel. That proved to be almost successful. That was a first attempt, which is promising; I hope we will able to complete that mission later on. Second, we’ve just celebrated the 30th anniversary of reestablishment of our diplomatic ties with Israel, and I would like to express our respect to the Israeli people – and at the same time to Prime Minister Netanyahu, because he played an important and inevitable role in reenergising and reopening the cooperation between Central Europe and Israel. We just touched upon political issues. I explained a little bit how important the European Parliamentary election will be – not only for the Europeans, but having some impact here as well. And our platform is very clear: we would like to have an outcome of the European election which helps us to push back anti-Semitism in Europe. And we will make clear that we need new leaders and leadership in the European Union, which never finance any NGOs any more from public European Union money who are interfering in political issues, and are anti-Israel. We don’t accept that kind of behaviour and practice. Up to now we have it, so we would like to stop it. We have just recalled in memory that we fought together at the level of the United Nations against the Global Compact on Migration, for which it’s important having not only one voice in the international arena. We have our voice also, which emphasises the legitimate interest of our nations, and the right to defend our borders. I’ve just informed the Prime Minister that Hungary is still continuing to support the Hungarian Jewish community, as we did in recent years. And one of the good examples in the future is that hopefully the Maccabiah Games will be one of the best and most beautiful games of its history; and hopefully the security side we can provide together.

And we touched upon the issue of economic cooperation. It’s going well: you have, I mean your Prime Minister, you have 210 companies being active in Hungary providing jobs for 5,500 Hungarian people. So it is very important, your presence in Hungary, and we hope that you could be even stronger there. And we agreed that an innovative car industry is an important issue, and we will extend our cooperation in that field – especially because we have some special training field investments in Hungary, which it’s necessary to have in order to get forward in that industry.

And finally, I’ve just informed the Prime Minister that the Hungarian government decided that we’ll open up a trade representation here, which will have diplomatic status. So we will appear even now in Jerusalem officially as well. So I hope it will be a good step forward to even improve the relationship between the Israeli people and Hungary. So you said: “Welcome to Israel!” My message is: welcome to Budapest, which is your city as well. So, see you then!