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Hungary has struck a political agreement on buying Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG), Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Doha on Wednesday, adding that the long-term contract for the post-2026 period would boost the country’s energy security. Hungary needs an increasing number of energy sources, though the idea was not to replace existing suppliers, a ministry statement quoted Szijjártó as saying after the minister met his Qatari counterpart and the ministers of energy and finance. Qatar will expand its LNG exports considerably from 2026, he said, noting that a previous political agreement had paved the way for inter-company talks on transit. Various options are available, such as via the LNG terminals in Türkiye, Greece or Poland, he said, adding that investments to expand capacity along the south-eastern European direction would be required as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó welcomed the steady development of bilateral economic ties and a new exports record. He said last year Hungary’s economy had run smoothly without European Union funds and investment and export records had been set, something which Qatar valued, adding that Hungary was seen as reliable and attractive investment destination. Infrastructure investments and financial cooperation could be expected in the coming period, he added. Addressing the war in the Middle East, the minister said global action was required to prevent escalation. He said clashes between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as attacks on commercial ships and American military bases in the region, were “negative developments”. Szijjártó said that countries that were sufficiently influential that acted responsibly may play a stabilising role, and “Qatar, in particular, is such a country”. He also hailed Doha’s role in freeing some of the hostages taken by Hamas, three of whom were Hungarian citizens. Another Hungarian citizen is being held hostage, he said, adding that he had asked his Qatari counterpart to help in the soonest possible repatriation. Hopefully talks on new prisoner exchanges would be successful sooner or later, he said, “if possible sooner”.