Orbán urges Hungarian-Egyptian economic breakthrough

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday called for a breakthrough in Hungarian-Egyptian economic relations at the Hungary-Egypt Business Forum organized by the Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH) which coincided with the visit of President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to Budapest.

(Photo: Károly Árvai/kormany.hu)

“We are holding our third business forum, and […] we have yet to achieve a major breakthrough in economic relations between the two countries,” Orbán said according to official government website kormany.hu. The Hungarian leader noted that a “political relationship of trust” between the two countries has developed, which he said was a “good starting-point” for an economic breakthrough.

Orbán once again took a chance to voice criticism of the European Union when he said that “we understand the Egyptian people’s rejection of any outside interference in their internal affairs”. According to kormany.hu, the prime minister said that the EU should also adopt a more constructive approach to the North African country.

Referring back to the first Hungarian-Egyptian business forum when the two parties agreed that Europe could have no stability without the stability of Egypt, Orbán said “if a destabilized Syria could cause Europe as much trouble as it has, how much trouble would be caused by a destabilized Egypt, without President Sisi?” Orbán emphasized that Europe should speak “respectfully” about Egypt and its president, whose work to stabilize his country has made him “a historic figure”, kormany.hu reported.

“In order to address the migration crisis we must also conclude a comprehensive agreement with Egypt, like the ones we have signed with other countries in the region,” Orbán said in praising Egypt for holding back “migration”.

President Sisi also praised the political relations between Egypt and Hungary as “excellent”, and emphasized his country’s welcoming attitude toward foreign investors, particularly in agriculture, industry and energy developments. With a population of almost 100 million, Egypt is a regional gateway to North Africa and the whole continent, kormany.hu quoted him as saying.

Sisi stressed that Egypt is a stable country and its people strive to see its economy grow as fast as possible. The country is making every effort to improve its economic and trade relations, the President said, and therefore its government supports the largest possible amount of inward investment.

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