Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto: We won’t meddle on PHL’s domestic issues​

Mar. 27, 2017

STRENGTHENING TIES. Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto shake hands during their meeting at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City, Monday, Mar. 27. The two officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary for exchanges on experts and researchers, among other trade cooperation. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto vowed Monday they will never meddle with the internal affairs of the Philippines saying only the Filipinos decide on who leads the country.

“We are a country which never comments on internal domestic issues. As we expect others not to judge and criticize our domestic and internal developments, we will never judge and criticize internal developments of other countries,” Szijjarto told reporters here during his meeting with Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

“We understand that it’s only the Filipino people who have the right to make a decision about who is leading this country,” he said.

He added that they only deal with bilateral issues and respects the decision of the Filipinos.

It can be recalled that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has condemned the EU’s stance on the war on drugs. In his speech before the Filipino community in Myanmar, Duterte told EU not to “impose your culture or your belief.”

“Do not impose your culture or your belief in what would be a government in this planet. Do not impose on other countries, especially us. Ito, paborito nila itong ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, because there is death penalty in Indonesia, there is death penalty in Malaysia, and I’m trying to revive it… as if other countries of EU do not have death penalty,” Duterte said in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on Mar. 19.

The two countries will be signing four cooperation agreements on economy, trade and culture.

Two of these agreements were signed on Monday, including the two-year Cultural Cooperation Programme which provides exchanges between art and cultural professionals and organizations in both counties in the fields of creative and performing arts including, literature, music, dance, theater, cinema and publishing, museology and archives.

Manalo and Szijjarto also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary for the framework for cooperation, particularly on the exchange of experts and researchers, conduct of joint research programs, invitation to symposia, meetings, and conferences organized by each Party and other modes of cooperation.

Szijjarto said they will also sign the cooperation agreement on economy and the cooperation agreement on the economic and trade chambers on Tuesday.

“I think these four agreements will ensure a very good basis for enhancing our bilateral cooperation,” he said.

The Hungarian official is the first foreign minister from the European Union to visit Davao City.

“Hungary attaches a great significance to the cooperation with the Philippines as the major Christian country in this region. We would like to put our bilateral relationships into a new dimension,” he said.

Szijjarto said they look for a cooperation in the field of the food industry, water management, agricultural technologies and machinery. (

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