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Hungarian Speaker of Parliament László Kövér held talks with Estonian officials in Tallinn, discussing, among others, bilateral ties, European issues and migration, the speaker’s press chief told MTI. During his visit, Kövér met his Estonian counterpart Henn Polluaas, Anneli Ott, the head of the Estonian parliament’s European affairs committee, and Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
Kövér, who visited Tallinn at the invitation of Polluaas, said during their talks that Hungary and Estonia were connected through their shared history, traditions and responsibility for future generations. Kövér praised bilateral relations, which he said were based on regular consultations.
Polluaas highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two countries’ parliamentary friendship groups and committees, along with their discussions on the future of the European Union and regional cooperation.
The two speakers were in agreement that the issue of migration should fall within the competences of EU member states. They underscored the importance of protecting Christian values, noting that not all member states were in agreement on the matter.
Kövér said Hungary wanted to play a “constructive and proactive” role in the discussions on the future of the EU so that member states could seize the opportunities with which they could create a more competitive bloc. “Hungary’s interest lies in a unified and strong union which remains a community of sovereign and independent nation-states,” he said.
Concerning the EU’s next multi-year budget and post-pandemic recovery package, Kövér said the proposal approved by member states in the summer would only be acceptable to Hungary if it was left as is, without any changes tying receipt of funds to compliance with standards regarding the rule of law.
He noted that Hungary and Estonia will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations next year. Kövér invited Polluaas for a visit to Hungary so that the two countries could mark the anniversary together.
The meeting between Kövér and Ratas focused on bilateral ties, the future of the EU and the situation in Belarus. The prime minister expressed his thanks to Kövér for Hungary’s contributions to NATO’s Baltic airspace protection mission. Kövér assured Ratas that if necessary, Hungary was prepared to provide further assistance. As regards migration, Ratas emphasised the importance of cooperating with migrant origin and transit countries, border protection and the repatriation of migrants not eligible for refugee status. Kövér and Ratas expressed their solidarity with the people of Belarus, urging the country to hold a democratic presidential election.
During his visit Kövér presented former Estonian foreign minister Trivimi Velliste with the Medium Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary on behalf of President János Áder for his efforts to protect European Christian values and culture. Kövér and Polluaas also laid a wreath at the memorial for the Estonian victims of communism.