Hungary's honorary consulate inaugurated in Koper
Koper, 1 July - An honorary consulate of Hungary was inaugurated in Koper on Thursday. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto highlighted the strategic position of Koper for Hungarian companies and good relations between Slovenia and Hungary.
Successful economic cooperation between Hungary and its neighbours will play an important role in the country's post-pandemic economic recovery, Szijjarto said, stressing the importance of physical presence in business.
In light of this, Koper is key for Hungarian exporters as 10% of Luka Koper transshipment is linked with Hungarian companies, he told the ceremony, highlighting recent investments by the port of Koper, including an extension to Quay I of the container terminal.
The new consulate will provide assistance to all Hungarian companies using the port of Koper as well as Hungarian citizens visiting Slovenia, he said.
Koper Mayor Aleš Bržan said that the event reaffirmed the continuation of dialogue between Slovenia and Hungary. Having opened the consulate, the two countries will strengthen diplomatic relations and provide basis for boosting economic cooperation as well, he said.
Iztok Seljak, Hungary's honorary consul to Slovenia and Hidria Holding director, sees a lot of opportunities to deepen the countries' relations. Both countries strive to show their potential to transform from followers into EU leaders, he said.
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan also pointed to friendly relations between Slovenia and Hungary, in particular effective cooperation between foreign ministries and prime ministers of both countries, which also manifested during the pandemic in the form of donations.
Hungary supports Slovenia at its EU presidency priority of facilitating a swift post-pandemic recovery and efforts to improve resilience to future crises, he said.
The ceremony also saw Minister Szijjarto decorating Slovenian police officer Erik Demirović with the Hungarian Order of Merit. Demirović is a police officer who helped with the repatriation of Hungarian citizens that were stranded abroad at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
Szijjarto said that the biggest repatriation project so far in Hungary could not have succeeded without selfless people such as Demirović.
Police Commissioner Anton Olaj meanwhile highlighted good relations between the two countries' police forces. "Security challenges, particularly in the time of globalisation, do not care for state borders, so we must address them in a wider context in the spirit of cooperation," he said.
Olaj pointed out that three Hungarian police officers were currently active in Slovenia to help patrol the border, adding that he wished cooperation would be further boosted in the future in light of the pandemic and illegal migration.