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Orbán welcomes Colombian President Santos

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Budapest Friday, telling his guest at a joint press conference after the meeting that Hungary can learn much from Colombiaʼs efforts to make its economy one of the most competitive in the world.  

Orbán meets President Santos (left) in Budapest (photo: Gergely Botár/kormany.hu).

“[Colombia] is doing a number of things which we Hungarians can also learn, copy and, after some adjustment, use,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by government website kormany.hu.

Orbán noted that both Hungary and Colombia had reopened their embassies in each otherʼs countries.

President Santos said it was a great honor to be the first head of state to meet with Orbán following his re-election and invited him to Colombia, an invitation the Hungarian PM accepted. Santos  congratulated Hungary on its excellent economic indicators, high growth rate and intensive development, kormany.hu reported.

Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his efforts in negotiating a peace treaty with the FARC guerillas in the country, bringing an end to more than 50 years of civil conflict.

“My job as newly elected prime minister could not have started any better than with a visit from our guest today,” Orbán said in praising the Colombian head of state, adding that leaders such as Santos – whom he described as a genuine hero – rarely visit Hungary.

Orbán urged the wider promotion of Colombia among Hungarian investors, as well as the strengthening of relations between the Visegrád Group (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) and the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc formed by four Latin American countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).