Tamil Diplomat

India rekindles bond with Hungary

Capping the highest level visit in decades by a ranking Indian leader to Hungary, by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, the two countries on Sunday signed two agreements, and during a joint media conference Mr. Ansari and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban spoke in warm terms about the bilateral relationship.

However, even as Mr. Ansari dwelt on a meeting of minds on the need for the elimination of the “scourge of terrorism” to counter which concerted international action was needed, Mr. Orban seemed to stop short of getting into the issue, while speaking on the need for “peaceful development” and mentioning threats that need to be countered in the course of such development.

Hungary will support India in achieving its international aspirations, the Prime Minister said. He recalled the extremely helpful role played by the Indian charge d’ affaires M.A. Rahman during the “revolution” of 1956, and said that phase Hungary can never forget. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself had at that point interceded with the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev to save the life of Arpad Goncz who later went on to become the Prime Minister of Hungary.

One of the two memoranda of cooperation that India and Hungary, a country of two great rivers, signed relates to water management. The other provides for cooperation between the Indian Council for World Affairs and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. The two countries on Sunday also agreed to set up a working group on technology to develop each other’s capabilities in a set of areas.Defence industry cooperation is another positive move afoot. Cooperation in the fields of film-making and agriculture have also been initiated, Mr. Orban said.

The Indian outreach comes in the backdrop of the support Hungary has extended to India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and also in the context of the post-Brexit uncertainties for Indian business and industry in the United Kingdom.Hungary is, it is understood, in the process of putting in place a policy of incentivisation to Indian companies coming to this country. Apollo Tyres, which in Hungary is well into the implementation of its largest-ever greenfield investment in Europe, amounting to Euros 475 million, is seen as one of the early beneficiaries of this policy.

A top source in the Ministry of External Affairs told The Hindu that she is certain this visit would lead to a major revival of bilateral ties. She agreed that India’s outreach to Hungary may have been rather tardy, for multiple practical reasons(THE HINDU,2016).