Official Visit of Hungarian President Tamás Sulyok to Austria

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: July 7, 2024; 14:13 ♦ (Vindobona)

The official visit of Hungarian President Tamás Sulyok to Austria began with a festive reception at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen warmly welcomed his counterpart and emphasized the long tradition of close cooperation between the two countries. The reception took place with military honors, symbolizing the deep-rooted friendship between Hungary and Austria.

The reception for Hungary's new president Tamás Sulyok (r.) took place with military honors by the honour guard of the Austrian Armed Forces. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner/HBF

"With this visit, we are continuing a long tradition of regular exchanges between the heads of state of our two countries - an expression of the close economic, cultural, and human relations that Hungary and Austria have enjoyed for centuries," explained Van der Bellen.

President Sulyok, who was making his second trip abroad following his election in February this year, also emphasized the importance of bilateral relations. He invited his Austrian counterpart to pay an official visit to Budapest and emphasized the strategic partnership based on historical ties and friendly relations.

Special topics of the meeting were economic and cultural relations and current political challenges. Both presidents emphasized the importance of stable and harmonious cooperation, especially during turbulent times. Van der Bellen also spoke out in favor of supporting a planned Hungarian-language secondary school in Vienna, a sign of appreciation for the cultural connection between the two countries.

Another key topic was the current traffic situation at the Burgenland border crossings. Both heads of state agreed that smooth border traffic is in the interest of both sides and that constructive talks between the governments are necessary to solve the problems.

President Sulyok provided information on the objectives of the Hungarian EU Council Presidency, emphasizing the need to increase the EU's competitiveness. Both presidents also emphasized the urgency of EU enlargement to include the Western Balkan states.

During his stay in Vienna, President Sulyok also met Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the Austrian National Council, for bilateral talks. The discussions covered topics such as the Ukraine conflict and the protection of the rights of national minorities. Both politicians agreed on the importance of these issues.

Another important topic was the growing anti-Semitism in Europe, especially after the Hamas attacks last October. President Sulyok emphasized Hungary's zero-tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism and stated that Hungary supports Israel's right to self-defense. He made a clear distinction between the Palestinian population and Hamas.

President Sulyok's visit to Vienna also included an appreciation of cultural ties. He laid a wreath at the monument to Ignaz Semmelweis at the Medical University of Vienna and met representatives of the Hungarian community in Austria. Finally, he took part in a festive concert to mark the opening of the Hungarian EU Council Presidency.

President Tamás Sulyok, former President of the Constitutional Court and in office since February 2024, is following in the footsteps of Katalin Novák, who resigned in February due to a scandal surrounding a controversial pardon. Sulyok's visit to Vienna marks a further step towards strengthening the friendly and strategic relations between Hungary and Austria.

Austrian President

Hungarian President