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28 Apr 2016

Call for restoring full-value interparliamentary contacts between Belarus, Hungary

MINSK, 28 April (BelTA) – Full-value interparliamentary contacts between Belarus and Hungary should be restored. Chairman of the International Affairs Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vitaly Busko made the statement during the meeting with a delegation of the Hungarian parliament on 28 April, BelTA has learned. The delegation was led by Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly of Hungary Zsolt Nemeth.

Vitaly Busko noted that no official Hungarian delegations had visited Belarus for a long time. In his opinion, this is why it is necessary to pay attention to restoring full-value political ties and, in particular, parliamentary relations between Belarus and Hungary. “We primarily met only at international platforms such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Inter-Parliamentary Union but I wish we could restore direct contacts,” said the MP.

In his words, after that the sides should think about improving the legislation of the two countries, expanding the legal base, which will allow deepening economic cooperation. It will help enable comfortable conditions for Belarusian businessmen, manufacturers, and farmers, noted the MP. Although in 2015 Belarus-Hungary trade turnover went over $200 million, the figure is below the potential. Vitaly Busko noted that Belarusian agricultural products may be of special interest in Hungary.

Apart from that, the Belarusian MP suggested expanding cooperation in humanitarian affairs, in particular, university student exchange programs.

In turn, Zsolt Nemeth said he believes it is the most opportune moment for restoring interparliamentary relations. “Relations between the business circles of our countries are getting better. In Hungary there are large companies, which are interested in cooperation with Belarus,” he noted.

Speaking about cooperation in education affairs, the Hungarian MP noted that Hungary had already offered 40 scholarships for Belarusian students, however, the opportunity had not been fully realized. Zsolt Nemeth also said it is necessary to establish more vigorous cultural and diplomatic exchange between Belarus and Hungary. Direct air flights between Minsk and Budapest are available three times per week, however, the MP believes more flights can be offered.

Zsolt Nemeth also said he hopes that Belarus-EU relations will continue getting better. He invited a delegation of the Belarusian parliament to come to Hungary on a reciprocal visit.

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