President Andrzej Duda, who is visiting Hungary, met with the president of that country, Janos Ader. The talks concerned, inter alia, the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. – We take our obligation to guard the borders of the European Union and the Schengen area extremely seriously – said Duda.
During the Thursday meeting in Budapest, Duda thanked Ader for “the declaration of sharing by the Hungarian side the experience from several years ago, when the Hungarian border was under enormous migratory pressure”. – The Hungarian border guard dealt with this problem then, our officers also supported the Hungarian side at that time – he stressed.
The President of the Republic of Poland said that he had informed the President of Hungary about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. – I can assure Mr. President, as the supreme representative of a country in the European Union, that we guard the borders of the EU with all our strength, using all means possible and legal – said Duda. He informed about the introduction of a state of emergency on the border zone at the Polish-Belarusian border and that the military was also involved in guarding the border. – This task is being carried out in the best possible way – he stressed.
The issue of Via Carpatia
Duda emphasized at a press conference after the meeting with the Hungarian president that the conversation concerned, inter alia, infrastructure. – I gave an account of the implementation of this most important road from the point of view of our relationship – Via Carpatia, which is to connect the Polish-Slovak border with the Polish-Lithuanian border through, in fact, all of eastern Poland, said the president. As he added, it is over 500 km of the investment, which is currently under construction.
Duda emphasized that the investments are implemented on time. – And I can assure all our Hungarian friends that the Polish government is determined to implement this investment in eastern Poland. And that a whole route will actually be created, which will be able to travel from Slovakia through the entire territory of Poland to Lithuania, visit Vilnius and other Baltic countries – emphasized the president.
– For me personally, this investment is also extremely important, not only because it will run through eastern Poland, where this infrastructure solution is extremely beneficial and extremely necessary, but also because it is an investment program of cooperation within the Three Seas – emphasized Duda.
He expressed the hope that “its implementation in its entirety will bring us an epochal change in terms of communication possibilities in terms of transport and car communication”. – It is with great satisfaction that I received the information that the President (Ader) passed on to me that Hungary is completing the construction of its part of Via Carpatia. I am very happy about it – said Andrzej Duda.
Hungary “will pass on experience”
Poland is the fourth most important economic partner of Hungary. The value of the turnover of goods is EUR 10 billion, there are 100 Polish companies in Hungary employing 13,000 employees – said Janos Ader for his part. He announced that he had talked with the head of the Polish state about the economy, infrastructure development and migration issues.
In the context of infrastructure development, the Hungarian president also drew attention to the issue of Via Carpatia. As he said, this road, which is to connect the North and South – from the Baltic Sea to Greece – will be 3,300 kilometers long. He informed that Hungary will hand over the 240-kilometer-long part of the route built by them later this year.
Ader added that he had talked with Duda also about migration and the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. – I suggested to the president that since 2015 we have experience in this field of border protection, how to manage the border, we would be happy to share our experience – he said.
Duda’s sixth visit to Hungary
The Polish presidential couple arrived in Budapest on Wednesday evening. Presidential Minister Wojciech Kolarski said that this was Andrzej Duda’s sixth official visit to Hungary. – So far, twelve bilateral meetings and meetings with the President of Hungary have taken place within the Visegrad Group. This shows how good, how close the relations between Poland and Hungary are – he added.
As part of Andrzej Duda’s visit, in addition to the meeting with Janos Ader, plenary talks of the delegation were also planned. Duda also met with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, and then with the chairman of the Hungarian National Assembly, Laszlo Kover.
– During the talks, the president will raise issues related to bilateral relations: political, economic and cultural; matters relating to the strengthening of regional cooperation within the Visegrad Group, as well as within the Three Seas Initiative. Certainly, one of the topics that will appear during the talks will be the issue of security in the context of the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border in connection with the crisis caused by actions by the Belarusian authorities, said Kolarski.
The president will be awarded a Hungarian state decoration
The visit of the presidential couple to Hungary will end with the ceremony of awarding Andrzej Duda with the Grand Cross with Chain and the Golden Star of the Hungarian Order of Merit. This highest distinction awarded to heads of other countries was awarded to Andrzej Duda on March 15, 2020, on the Hungarian National Day – 172nd anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising of 1848. The president was to be decorated during the Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day, planned for March 2020 in Budapest, however, due to the introduction of the state of emergency in Hungary due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremonial celebrations and the awarding ceremony were canceled.
– It is a great honor for the President of the Republic of Poland, he receives the highest state decoration from the President of Hungary. This decoration is a testimony to the excellent relations between our countries – said Kolarski.
The decision to award the decoration was made by the President of Hungary, who in the justification emphasized the special merits and personal commitment of President Duda in developing relations between Poland and Hungary, including numerous initiatives aimed at deepening traditionally friendly interstate relations, active involvement in popularizing the common historical and cultural heritage of both countries, as well as a significant contribution to the implementation of the interests of Poland and Hungary in the forum of the European Union and in the regional dialogue. At the same time, the Hungarian president appreciated Duda’s commitment to strengthening political and social contacts between the countries, including during the annual Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day celebrations organized since 2007 on 23 March.
Main photo source: Noemi Bruzak / PAP / EPA