Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was awarded the title of honorary professor at Nur-Sultan’s LN Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan.
In his acceptance speech, Szijjártó expressed his pleasure at the chance to represent a country that is proud of its heritage and culture. Hungary, too respects countries with rich cultures, he said, adding that this mutual respect provided “the perfect foundation” for the continued development of Hungarian-Kazakh relations. The minister said Hungary was proud of its shared historical and cultural heritage with central Asian countries. He added that Hungarians were regarded as “either the easternmost western people or the westernmost eastern people”. Whereas this view had been considered condescending in the past, today it is taken as a compliment, Szijjártó said. Cooperation between Hungary and Kazakhstan is based on mutual sympathy, he said, adding that in order to further develop their bilateral ties, the two countries needed to develop the relations between their people. The best way to do this, he said, was through education.
Szijjártó said Hungary was proud that under an agreement signed on Tuesday, the LN Gumilyov Eurasian National University will begin teaching Hungarian in September. The LN Gumilyov Eurasian National University has ties with Gödöllő’s Szent István University and the University of Szeged. Asked about the future of Hungarian-Chinese relations and Hungary’s strategic plans at a press conference after the ceremony, Szijjártó said Hungary maintained a pragmatic cooperation with China based on common sense, mutual interests and respect.
China is one of Hungary’s, and Europe’s most important investors and trading partners, Szijjártó said, adding that he regarded the dispute about cooperation with that country “hypocrisy”. “Countries that are the loudest in criticising Hungary for its pragmatic cooperation with China are the ones that would strike in secret the biggest deals with that country,” he said.