Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz met yesterday with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó.

During their meeting, the two agreed that the State of Israel would respond positively to the invitation to participate in the Association Council of the European Union under the upcoming Hungarian presidency that will begin on July 1st. They also discussed Israel’s war against the Hamas terrorist organization and the Iranian-led radical Islamic axis.

FM Katz told his counterpart that the upcoming Hungarian European Union presidency is an opportunity to continue the sanctions against Iran and its nuclear, missile and UAV projects, and to promote Israel’s position and its cooperation with the European Union on other issues.

FM Katz also reviewed the efforts to reach a deal for the release of the hostages, including hostage Omri Miran who holds Hungarian citizenship, and emphasized that a decision compelling Israel to end the war without the return of the abductees should not be permitted.

FM Katz thanked FM Szijjártó for his opposition to the ICC Prosecutor’s decision to issue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Gallant, and to the charge against Israel at the ICJ.

FM Katz also referred to the confrontation with Hezbollah on the northern border, telling his counterpart that Israel seeks a diplomatic solution, but the moment is approaching when a decision regarding military action will have to be taken if Hezbollah does not implement UN Resolution 1701.

FM Katz thanked his counterpart for Hungary’s struggle against antisemitism, and his initiative to promote the European Union Community Security project designed to protect Jewish communities across Europe from hate crimes and antisemitism.

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz said:

“The period of the Hungarian presidency is an unprecedented opportunity to improve Israel’s position in the European Union. Israel is fighting a war against the extreme axis of radical Islam that Iran is leading with all its partners for the entire free world. Hungary’s leadership of the European Union can maintain the sanctions against Iran and its attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons. It is important that the EU, alongside the US and other countries, stand up against Iran – to prevent an all-out war.

On the subject of the hostages, we are working both militarily and through negotiations to return them all. The arch-murderer Sinwar is waiting for the international forums to decide on an unconditional ceasefire for the release of the abductees. Therefore, the world must be determined and convey to him that there is no possibility of this happening.

Regarding Lebanon, both Israel and the international community want a diplomatic solution, but Hezbollah is breaking the rules. It is not possible for the evacuated Israeli residents to return without fully restoring security – we will not abandon the residents of Israel. Throughout history we have known how to face threats and win wars – if we are destined to fight, we will fight and defeat Hezbollah.

At the war’s end, we will return to normalization and the peace vision of the Abraham Accords with the moderate Arab states, and we will be happy for Hungary to take a central part in the vision of the continental corridor that will connect East and West.

Hungary is a true friend that stands by us even in difficult times – and the State of Israel cherishes and appreciates that.”