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Hungary supports the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme that covers Moldova as well, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Chișinău on the sidelines of high-level talks with Moldovan officials. Péter Szijjártó met President Igor Dodon, Prime Minister Pavel Filip, Foreign Minister Tudor Ulianovschi and House Speaker Andrian Candu to discuss EU-related and bilateral affairs.

The Eastern Partnership programme must be based on mutual respect without allowing it to be used as a means to interfere in the participating countries’ domestic affairs, Szijjártó told MTI by phone. The minister called Moldova a highly important partner for Hungary, one that can serve as a link between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union. The Hungarian government respects Moldova’s policy of giving priority to its national interests, he said, adding that Hungary will help Chișinău in setting up a network of foreign affairs institutions.

Moldova’s newly established Diplomatic Academy and Hungary’s Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade signed a cooperation agreement during Szijjártó’s visit.

Concerning economic and financial issues, Szijjártó expressed the Hungarian government’s disapproval of Brussels’ decision to suspend its Macro-Financial Assistance to Moldova. Hungary at the same time supports that Moldova be granted observer status in the “16+1” cooperation between central Europe and China, the foreign minister said. He said that under an agreement concluded in Chișinău, Hungarian companies will carry out development projects in water management with Chinese funding. The minister said that Hungary’s exports to Moldova first exceeded 100 million euros last year.