Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) met with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto in Budapest on Monday, where the two discussed European security, transatlantic unity migration and the enlargement policy of the European Union, among other topics.
The foreign ministers discussed the upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers and the NATO leaders' meeting taking place in London early next month, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.
When it comes to many security issues, Hungary is an important like-minded country and ally for Estonia, Reinsalu said.
"NATO is and must remain a cornerstone of European security," he said. "Instead of questioning the role of NATO, all members have a responsibility to maintain transatlantic unity and enhance cooperation between the EU and NATO."
The Estonian minister also thanked Hungary for its active contributions to the security of the Baltic states, including its recent leading of NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission in Siauliai, Lithuania. He emphasized, however, that Russia's continued aggression in Ukraine constitutes a broader security threat to Europe, which is why it is particularly important to maintain a united transatlantic position and adhere to the EU's policy toward Russia.
The two ministers also discussed migration and current EU affairs, including the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), Brexit, and the enlargement of the EU.
"The EU's enlargement policy is one issue where Estonia and Hungary are in complete agreement," Reinsalu highlighted. "The EU must not turn its back on the Western Balkans; instead, it must be a reliable and encouraging partner in their reform efforts."
Bilateral topics discussed also included the continuation of successful cultural cooperation between the two countries, and opportunities for increased economic cooperation as well. Reinsalu highlighted the Three Seas Initiative as an important example, and called on Hungary and local companies to actively participate in the 2020 summit to take place in Tallinn next June.
Reinsalu also outlined Estonia's upcoming elected non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council and was briefed in turn on the latest developments in Hungary.
Editor: Aili Vahtla