A record number of 1,151 students from Morocco have enrolled to study in Hungarian universities this year, a sign of recognition of the standard of Hungarian higher education, the foreign minister said, after meeting Morocco’s minister for higher education and innovation minister in Budapest. Péter Szijjártó and Abdellatif Miraoui signed an agreement on Hungary increasing the number of grants for Moroccan students from an annual 150 to 165 during 2023-2025. In March, the rectors’ conferences of the two countries will hold a joint meeting and Hungarian universities will send teachers to give classes at Morocco’s largest universities, Szijjártó told a joint press conference after the talks.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said the war in Ukraine had seriously affected Morocco, with most of its wheat imports coming from Ukraine and Russia. He said both Morocco and Hungary had an interest in restoring peace in Ukraine as soon as possible “to have a realistic chance to prevent serious global challenges”. Szijjártó called illegal migration to Europe one of such challenges, adding that in tackling it Morocco had an important role to play. “The experience we have gained over the past 6-7 years is that migration pressure eases if there is stability in north Africa. This is why we highly esteem stable countries in the region, a line of defence for Europe, Morocco among them,” the foreign minister said. Hungary will have the opportunity to offer further help as its embassy will serve as liaison between Morocco and NATO from 2023, he added. Speaking about bilateral economic ties, Szijjártó noted a continued development of cooperation. Bilateral trade last year increased by 16%, to a record 300 million dollars, he said.