Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Lorenzo Fontana, the head of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, in Budapest on Thursday, the prime minister’s press chief said. Italy is one of Hungary’s most important allies, a key partner in bilateral cooperation as well as in the European Union and NATO, Orbán said. They agreed that Hungary and Italy were linked by their geographical proximity, history and shared views on ideological and social issues, the statement said. Economic ties are also strengthening, and Italy was Hungary’s fifth largest trading partner in 2022, it added. “We’re observing with concern the pressure illegal migration is putting Italy under,” Orbán said, adding that Hungary also witnessed the situation worsening on the Western Balkans route. Both countries are committed to stopping illegal migration, reinforcing the EU’s external borders and to developing more effective repatriation strategies, Orbán and Fontana agreed, according to the statement.
President Katalin Novák discussed European Union enlargement and the fight against terrorism with Fontana. A strong alliance between similar-minded states like Hungary and Italy was important, Novák said on Facebook. “We will continue to fight for family values as we have done so for years,” she said.