Hungarian Foreign Minister Accepts Cerar’s Explanation of Bratušek’s Comments

By , 21 Nov 2018, 10:20 AM Politics
Hungarian Foreign Minister Accepts Cerar’s Explanation of Bratušek’s Comments Montage: JL Flanner

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STA, 20 November - While Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced last week that the country was withdrawing from the investment in the Koper-Divača rail project, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday as he paid a visit to Slovenia that the option remained open, Radio Slovenija reported.

According to the national radio, Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar has obviously convinced his Hungarian counterpart that the Slovenian government is yet to decide on the neighbour's participation in the project.

Szijjártó, who is visiting Slovenia upon an invitation from Cerar, told Radio Slovenija that the Slovenian government had not yet decided on Hungary's participation in the construction of a new rail line between the port of Koper and the Divača inland hub.

"My good friend Miro Cerar informed me that we should not understood the statements by your infrastructure ministry as the decision of the Slovenian government," the Hungarian foreign minister said.

Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said on Monday that Hungary was interested in the project to get a piece of the Slovenian coast and that that would never happen.

"If this is the reason that [Hungary] will not be involved, then be it," she added and reiterated that Slovenia was able to build the rail on its own.

Szijjártó today labelled Bratušek's statements as discouraging. "We had achieved great progress in the time when Cerar was your prime minister," he told Radio Slovenija.

According to hum, Hungary is also looking for opportunities in other ports. In Koper, the landlocked eastern neighbour transships two million tonnes of cargo, which is 10% of total transshipment in the port.

Szijjártó is in Ljubljana today for the opening of the 34th Slovenian Book Fair, where Hungary is the guest country.

Szijjártó and Cerar had a working meeting at Strmol Castle to confirm the excellent bilateral relations and regular dialogue between the countries, following the official visit at the end of October by Hungarian President Janos Ader.

What connects the countries is the protection of ethnic minorities from both sides of the border, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Szijjártó and Cerar also discussed economic cooperation, investment opportunities, cross-border infrastructural projects, including power lines and gas pipeline connections between the countries, and topical EU and international issues.

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