Skip to main content

  1. Home
  2. News and communications

News Statement by His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives at the Joint Press Conference with His Excellency Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

Statement

From Ministry of Foreign Affairs




Your Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó (ޕީޓާ ސިޔާޓޯ); members of the Hungarian delegation; members of the media,

As-salamu alaykum and a very good morning.

Minister, I heard you brought with you rain, and good fortune from Budapest last night.

(pause)

It is good to meet you again Minister, and this time in my home country. Your visit is also a historic one, marking the first high-level visit from Hungary to the Maldives. Though this is a short visit, it definitely has given renewed momentum to our four-decade old bilateral friendship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During our Official Talks this morning, Minister Szijjártó and I exchanged views on several thematic areas. These included discussions on education, economic cooperation, youth and sports, health, tourism, fisheries and agriculture, and environment and climate change. I would like to thank Minister Szijjártó’s commitment to support our development priorities especially in the health sector of the Maldives.

Following our Official Talks, we also signed several important agreements.

Among these, was a key agreement on further enhancing mutual collaboration on development priorities. This agreement is intended to facilitate cooperation in important areas of development and provide a framework to promote business linkages and improve trade between our countries. A joint commission will also be established under this agreement, to review and discuss ongoing projects and potential cooperation areas. I also would like to thank Minister Szijjártó, for his tireless and continuous efforts, supporting our bid to reduce tariff on our tuna exports to the EU market.

Minister of Higher Education Dr. Ibrahim Hassan and Minister Szijjártó concluded an additional protocol to the existing MoU on Hungaricum Stipendium scholarships between the Maldives and Hungary signed in 2021. I am pleased to note that with this additional protocol, the total number of scholarship opportunities offered by the Government of Hungary to the Maldives will be increased from 15 to 25 each year.

We also signed the MoU on cooperation in the field of Sports Diplomacy. The MoU was signed by Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Ahmed Mahloof and Minister Szijjártó. Hungary is an outstanding leader in sports. So, I am confident that the Maldives would greatly benefit from this agreement, especially through exchange of technical skills, information, and training programmes between our two countries.

In our discussions today, we also discussed the importance of enhancing people-to-people ties and promoting our cultural values. I thank Minister Szijjártó for Hungary’s decision today, to join the VFS Visa Facilitation Centre established in Male’. With Hungary, the VFS Visa Facilitation Centre would now offer visa facilitation services for Maldivians to travel to five different countries in Europe. I also thank Minister Szijjártó for his continuous support for our efforts to obtain visa free travel for Maldivian nationals to EU Member States.

I take this opportunity, to recall the generous and timely humanitarian assistance provided by the Government of Hungary together with the Honorary Consul of Maldives in Hungary, Mr. Radu Morar and Honorary Consul General of Hungary in Maldives, Mr. Mohamed Ali Janah in facilitating a safe passage for Maldivian students to travel out of Ukraine in March this year. Mr Minister, I thank you for your personal commitment and response to my request.

I also commend the Government of Hungary for their leading role in ensuring necessary humanitarian assistance during the ongoing conflict in Europe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Minister Szijjártó and I have met on several occasions in the past, most of them were in New York during my Presidency at the United Nations General Assembly. I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Minister Szijjártó and the Government of Hungary for the support extended to my team and I during my time in office as PGA. I also commend the important work continued by Ambassador Kőrösi of Hungary as the current President of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you, Maldives will continue supporting the priorities of Ambassador Kőrösi and will continue to work closely with Hungary in the multilateral arena to overcome global challenges of mutual interest.

I thank Minister Szijjártó once again, for accepting my invitation and undertaking this official visit to the Maldives. It gives me great joy to host you in the Maldives today. I hope that the Maldives has been everything that I described to you during our past engagements.

I am confident that we will be able to build on the constructive discussions we have had today and further strengthen our relationship in the coming years.

އިޝްމީތް ސެރެތްނީމް މެގްކުސުންނި ޕީތަރނެކް، ހުޖް އެފޮގޮދްތަ މެކިވާޝޮމޮތް އިޝް ވަލޮކުޒުތް އެއްރެ ތޮރްތެނެމި ލާތުގޮތާޝްރަ.

މެގްދޫޝޫދީޝެމް ހުޖް އޮސޮރޯޝް އެގުތްމުކުދޭޝް އޮރްޒަގޮވިންކް ކުޒުތް ތޮވާބް ވިރާގްޒިކްމޮއިދް އޮޒް އެލުއްތުންކް އާލޯ އީވެކްބެން.

Thankyou once again, dear Péter.

Translation (Ismét szeretném megköszönni Péternek, hogy elfogadta meghívásomat és vállalkozott erre a történelmi látogatásra.

Meggyőződésem, hogy a szoros együttműködés országaink között tovább virágzik majd az előttünk álló években.)

(I would like to thank Peter once again, for accepting my invitation and undertaking this historic visit. I am confident that the close cooperation between our two countries will continue to flourish in the years ahead.)