PHL-Hungary discuss agriculture, water management matters

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. and Hungary’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó

TOP diplomats of Hungary and the Philippines have sought to increase Budapest and Manila’s cooperation in agriculture and water management.

During a bilateral meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Friday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. said these could serve as main areas of cooperation between the two nations.

With Hungary’s exports to the Philippines reaching 71 percent of its target in the first 11 months of 2018 alone, and given its focus on Southeast Asia as part of his country’s “Eastern Opening” policy, Szijjártó is optimistic that trade between the two states will further increase in the following years.

 “The food industry and water management could be the flagship areas for exports,” he said during a joint press conference with Locsin.

At the same time, top Philippine diplomat relayed Manila’s gratitude to Budapest for its support to the Christian communities and its donation to the victims of the recent bombings in Jolo, Sulu.

Szijjártó said the assistance is to express Hungary’s solidarity with the Philippines and signify its commitment to the global fight against Islamic extremism.

Hungary was among the first to offer assistance and provide about P1.89 million in emergency aid to help the injured and the families of the victims in January’s Jolo city blast.

Prior to his bilateral meeting with Szijjártó, Locsin gave a lecture on Philippine foreign policy at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, where he explained before Hungarian policy makers, business leaders, and members of academe developments that have been taking place in the Philippines, including the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs as a renewal of the country’s “solemn responsibility to protect the law-abiding against the lawless by any means efficient.”

“Rather than putting states in the dock as presumptively guilty of human-rights violations, we might seriously consider invoking instead the great power— and, therefore, the great responsibility—of states to protect human rights and punish their violation,” the DFA chief said in his speech.

“No serious state will violate human rights to govern. So why not ask states to help protect human rights—foremost among which is the right to be safe from crime? Do not presume to threaten states with accountability for a tough approach to crushing crime,” he added.

According to the Philippine Embassy in Budapest, the secretary was also scheduled to call on Hungarian National Assembly Speaker Laszlo Kover. He is also slated to visit the headquarters of the Hungarian Water Technology Corp.

After Hungary, Locsin is to proceed to Germany to participate in the Munich Security Conference. There, he is tabbed to meet the Filipino community and inaugurate the newly built Philippine Embassy in Berlin.

DFA/Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/PNA

Image credits: DFA


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