Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu met with the foreign minister of Hungary Peter Szijjarto in Tallinn and discussed the European Union, religion, humanitarian aid and the spread of the coronavirus.
"Estonia and Hungary have many common areas of interest," Reinsalu (Isamaa) said on Wednesday.
"In the context of the Religious Freedom Alliance, we discussed freedom of religion and speech. Estonia and Hungary also share an understanding of the sovereignty of states in the context of migration. We have a shared concern on migration issues and an assessment of the situation on the Greek-Turkish border. I briefed him on the steps Estonia has taken to support Greece in protecting their border. It is the position of both Estonia as well as Hungary that Greece must receive help and the external borders of the European Union must be protected."
Reinsalu recognised Hungary for its contribution to regional defence cooperation and welcomed Hungary's decision to once again participate in NATO's Baltic Air Policing in 2022.
"Although there is still a lot to be done when it comes to advancing economic relations, I am glad that several Estonian companies are successfully operating in Hungary," Reinsalu said, and highlighted the work of the cultural institutes of both countries in advancing bilateral relations.
Discussing European Union topics, the ministers expressed their shared hope for progress in European Union enlargement, and Minister Reinsalu outlined Estonia's positions on cyber cooperation.
"Estonia and Hungary are working to ensure cyber stability, to make sure that norms and international law apply in cyberspace," Reinsalu said, emphasising Hungary's important role at the OSCE in helping to implement confidence-building measures in cyberspace. He also called for support in processes related to the cybersecurity of the European Union.
In addition to the meeting of Estonian and Hungarian foreign ministers and delegations, the visit also includes the formal opening of the premises of the Embassy of Hungary, where the ministers will sign a memorandum of understanding on development cooperation and humanitarian aid to improve the provision of humanitarian aid to persecuted religious minorities.
Reinsalu stressed that Estonia was engaging in bilateral cooperation mainly in areas where its experiences would have added value, while taking into account the needs of the partner country.
"Under the memorandum of understanding, Estonia is allocating €50,000 to the Hungary Helps project in Jordan for buying medical equipment for the Al-Karaki Hospital, managed by the Comboni Catholic Religious Institute. Hungary, in turn, will give €50,000 in support of the Youth in Tech crisis aid project of NPO Mondo and the Finnish Church Aid at the Zaatari and Azraqi refugee camps in Jordan," Reinsalu said.
Editor: Helen Wright