(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Hungarian Deputy State Secretary Janos Hovari on Tuesday held talks with Jordanian officials on regional political developments and bilateral ties.
Hungary is following developments in the Middle East closely both on an individual basis and within its capacity as an EU member, he said in an interview with The Jordan Times, adding that economic stability and security in the southern Mediterranean is among Europe's major concerns.
"We have excellent and distinguished relations with every country in the Middle East and North Africa region. We understand and support the people's need for democracy and freedom and we are willing to offer our help in any possible way," Hovari added.
Amman and Budapest established diplomatic ties in 1964 and in 1976 Hungary opened its first commercial office, which was upgraded to an embassy in 2005.
The diplomat, who arrived yesterday on a one-day visit after holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials, said his country is working with other partners to convince all parties to return to the negotiating table, adding that the EU realises the importance of addressing the conflict in the Middle East on the basis of the two-state solution.
"All parties involved in the peace talks are aware of the hot issues that need to be addressed, yet we are not moving forward. However, we must not lose hope for the negotiations are the only option through which differences can be addressed," he added.
At the bilateral level, Hovari said Hungary is interested in exchanging official and state visits with Jordan to help further enhance joint cooperation.
"Hungary wants to benefit from the Kingdom's geographic location as a centre to promote trade with countries in the region and notably Iraq," he said, adding that trade volume between the two countries amounted to 40 million in 2011, 80 per cent of which were Hungarian exports to the Kingdom.
Hovari said trade volume has been fluctuating due to the global economic crisis, but a gradual increase took place last year, adding that Hungarian companies are keen to participate in Jordanian tenders in the energy and water management sectors.
He said the international community and his country have welcomed Jordan's political reform measures, stressing that last year's constitutional amendments were an important and positive step towards democracy and comprehensive political reform.
Regarding Islamists' role in post-Arab Spring governments, Hovari said the EU respects and encourages democracy and will respect the will of the people.
"From an EU perspective, we are ready to offer our experience in building a democratic system but we will not impose any ideas on local societies. They have to decide what is best for them and we will help them in any way we can," he said.
Touching on the Syrian crisis, the official said the Syrian regime has crossed all red lines with respect to the killing of innocent civilians and that the increase in the number of victims is a sign that the regime there has "no concern" for its own people.