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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Israel: Our views on several 21st-century issues are the same

In a press statement released jointly with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Orbán stressed that they agree that the most important issue is security: every nation has the right to its own security, which it is duty-bound to provide to its citizens. He said today Europe is afflicted by migration and terrorism, against which action must be taken.

Mr. Orbán pointed out that potent forms of modern-day anti-Semitism have emerged in Europe, and that nowadays anti-Semitism is increasing in Western Europe, while it is decreasing in Central Europe. The Prime Minister stated that Hungary will continue to enforce zero tolerance in relation to anti-Semitism.

He said that citizens of Jewish origin in Hungary are under the Government’s protection, and “we are proud” that people who openly declare their Jewish roots can feel safe in Hungary. He pointed out that Hungary has done a great deal to assist in the cultural rebuilding of the Jewish community, with the renovation of synagogues and support for education. He said that Hungary stands ready to cooperate in the fight against anti-Semitism.

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Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI

The Prime Minister also highlighted that Hungary will always take action to ensure that international organisations treat Israel in a fair, balanced and unbiased manner. He said that in the future Hungary will also continue to closely cooperate with Israel in international forums.

The Prime Minister told the press that economic cooperation between the two countries is strong, with two hundred Israeli businesses operating in Hungary, providing jobs for five thousand people – primarily in the field of modern technology.

Mr. Orbán asked his Israeli counterpart to support the Hungarian cultural season to be staged in the country next year. Speaking about Hungarian culture, he said that “We have plenty to showcase”.

He also asked the Israeli prime minister to support the establishment of a museum for the Hungarian-speaking community in Israel. “We are not asking for money, only goodwill and support”, he said.

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Photo: Balázs Szecsődi

Mr. Orbán noted that last year his Israeli counterpart spent several days in Budapest, and that the current visit is in reciprocation for that. He said that it is symbolic that this visit is taking place on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

He stated that the outstanding bilateral relations between the two countries are due in part to the personal cooperation between the two prime ministers, and the fact that both countries are led by patriotic prime ministers. He observed that next year will be the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states, and said that this will be celebrated.

The Prime Minister was later scheduled to have talks with President of Israel Reuven Rivlin and to meet Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau. He will also visit the Yad Vashem memorial centre, where he will lay a wreath and plant a tree in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations.