Szijjártó: Hungary-Croatia cooperation in interest of both countries

Int’l Relationsárton Kovács

Hungarian and Croatian interests lie in strengthening strategic cooperation, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (pictured) said after talks with his Croatian counterpart Miro Kovac yesterday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

(Photo:árton Kovács)

A plan is being prepared to resolve open issues, he said. Important tasks include restoring railway links between the two countries, the construction of the Sarajevo-Osijek-Budapest motorway, the Croatian LNG terminal and the MOL-INA issue, Szijjártó said.

Speaking of the LNG terminal, Szijjártó said the timing of the construction of Croatiaʼs LNG terminal has diminished in importance since, with the support of the European Commission, an alternative Romanian route has gained priority, with the aim of diversifying natural gas supplies.

In connection with the troubled relations between MOL and INA, in which MOL has a majority stake, Szijjártó said Hungary expects Croatia to create a business and legal environment in which MOL can function as a responsible investor operating INA, adding that the two companiesʼ successful cooperation is in the interest of both countries.

The minister said bilateral trade grew 22% in year-on-year terms in January-November last year, reaching a record high in 2015. Hungaryʼs Eximbank is to open a €185 million credit line to support cooperation between Hungarian and Croatian companies.

Miro Kovac called for the continuation of the work of the three Hungarian-Croatian mixed committees and suggested that a Hungarian-Croatian joint government meeting should be organized.

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