PM Orban highlights importance of opening to the east

Astana, May 4 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke about the importance of Hungary’s opening up to countries of the east during plenary talks with Karim Masimov, his Kazakh counterpart, in Astana on Friday.

Opening to the east is Hungary’s response to changes in global economy and this involves recognising the increased significance of countries such as Kazakhstan, Orban said.

 

At the meeting, Masimov highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation. He also said that he had reviewed the situation of the European Union and that of Central Europe with Orban in a closed circle meeting earlier in the morning.

 

Following the talks, Orban told a press conference that Hungary appreciated Kazakhstan’s performance during the past twenty years and called the country a dominant state in the region. Kazakhstan defies the commonly held belief that there is a global crisis, Orban said. “There are some parts of the world where there is a crisis and there are others without one. We have come from a place where there is crisis to another part where there is no crisis,” he argued.

 

Orban said he had come to Kazakhstan not only as a prime minister but also as a “western brother to a brother in the east”.

 

The Kazakh prime minister welcomed Hungary striving for strategic partnership with his country and suggested that joint ventures should be set up as well as a fund to assist those businesses, Orban said. He said he had asked Masimov to ensure further opportunities for Hungarian oil and gas company Mol, which is already active in Kazakhstan.

 

Before the press conference, representatives of the two countries signed bilateral agreements including ones on exchanging tax-related information, health cooperation, and on setting up a Kazakh-Hungarian business council.

 

In the afternoon, Orban will have talks with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.